The Queensland Trucking Association’s (QTA) Road Freight Annual Industry Awards were held at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane tonight.
With over 400 guests in attendance, the gala event included a keynote speech from 2019 Australian of the Year Dr Craig Challen, who was instrumental in the dramatic cave rescue of the Thai soccer team in 2018.
Dr Challen shared this courageous experience and spoke of resilience and challenging orthodox thinking, which are themes that QTA CEO Gary Mahon believes are required to achieve real reform for the trucking industry in Australia.
QTA president, Paul Kahlert said the calibre of award winners tonight are a representation of the strength of the road freight industry that is critical to the livelihood of all Queenslanders.
“Our members recognised tonight are outstanding and the QTA is proud to have them as representatives of the association,” said Kahlert.
“On behalf of the QTA Board of Directors, I offer congratulations to all who have been honoured tonight, all are very worthy winners.”
The 2022 winners are:
Industry Excellence Award – Jim Hurley, Brown and Hurley
In Australia, you would be hard pressed to find anyone more committed to the trucking industry than Jim Hurley. Jim has had a long and rewarding career in an industry that has made a significant contribution to Australia’s economy. His long-term commitment to the transport industry spans over 65 years, and although now retired from the day-to-day running of the business, you can still have Jim turn up behind at your depot behind the wheel of your new Kenworth.
Jim’s passion for the industry spans way beyond selling trucks. He was the driving force behind the Kenworth Hall of Fame in Alice Springs. Jim is a loyal, trustworthy, and genuine gentleman and one of the most respected people in the road transport industry in Australia. In a business sense, Jim values service, people and relationships. He is known to say: “If you look after your customers they will look after you.”
Trucking Woman of the Year – Melira Lister, QUBE Bulk
After exiting the RAAF, Melira took a job in the heavy transport industry working in the permits area. She quickly found a passion for the industry and started to make an impact in the heavy lift and oversize overmass area. Currently working for QUBE, as a Project Manager, female representation in this sector of transport is scarce but Melira never lets that get in her way. Anyone that know Melira can attest to her drive, ambition, and love for challenging work which has seen her quickly progress into management positions. Over the past 12 years, Melira has worked on major multimillion dollar infrastructure and renewable energy projects utilising her strong skills in negotiation, problem solving and advocacy to achieve successful outcomes for clients. Melira has been awarded professional learning scholarships and takes every opportunity to improve her knowledge and qualifications. Melira is an inspiring person and a strong advocate for women in the transport industry.
Young Achiever of the Year (dual award winners) – Dean Ryan, Clayton’s Towing, Nambour and Hugh Paton, Sizer and Coggil, Townsville
Dean joined Clayton’s Towing Service in 2012 at 18 years old. Prior to this, he was a Plumber and left the trade to pursue his interest in heavy vehicles and hasn’t looked back. Dean started out driving small MR tilt trays and over the past 10 years has moved his way up through the heavy fleet to perform specialised recoveries. Dean is a highly motivated young man with a logical approach and excellent work ethic. His colleagues describe him as approachable, understanding and with a wealth of knowledge in this specialised sector. Dean is greatly valued by his employer Claytons.
After finishing high school in 2014 and Hugh embarked on a dual apprenticeship of Diesel Fitter and Auto Electrical as well as obtaining his truck licence and driving for the family business (Paton Bulk Haulage). Hugh then took the plunge and opened his own diesel fitting business called HP Diesel Services and a year later moved up to Townsville to then commence work at Sizer & Cogill as Operations Manager. All of this before turning 25, what a great achievement. His current role sees him looking after the day to day running of 20 trucks and also the storage and handling of bulk products. A great asset to the Sizer and Cogill business, high is very intelligent and hard worker who has a big future ahead of him.
Professional Driver of the Year – Kathryn Mobbs, DTC/Easter Group
Kathyrn Mobbs is the professional driver that every employer wants in their fleet. Celebrating 25 years of employment at Easters this year, Kathy has an outstanding driving record and is well respected by colleagues and clients. Kathy is a quiet achiever who thinks driving the truck as a female is nothing special. As an express linehaul driver, Kathy has performed thousands of runs for the business and possesses excellent mechanical and technical knowledge. With a professional attitude towards safety, Kathy embraces the innovative safety technologies introduced into the fleet. Kathy Mobbs on being the first ever female QTA Professional Driver of the Year.
Training and Skilling Award – Frasers Livestock Transport, Livestock Transport and Handling Workshops
Knowledge of cattle behaviour, handling techniques and general principles for handling beasts are an essential requirement for livestock transport operators. Identifying a gap in the training available for livestock truck drivers, the bespoke course was created by Fraser’s Livestock Transport and Athol Carter, Central Queensland manager led the development of the curriculum. The aim of this course is to promote safer work practices and improved animal welfare outcomes for transporting and handling livestock throughout the supply chain. With funding support, the course has now been rolled out across three locations in Queensland and trained over 150 people. The course is setting a new benchmark for livestock transport safety and animal handling training.
Innovation and Safety Award – Jarratt Transport Solutions, Safety Handle for safe top of trailer access
A simple and low-cost solution, the safety handle prevents slips and falls when climbing onto trailers. The device assists the driver to maintain 3 points contact at all times when getting on and off the trailer which is a fundamental safety procedure. Designed to simply drop into or lift from the holes in the trailer, the safety handle can be easily stored in the trailer toolbox or dunnage carrier. Jarratt’s Transport & Operations Manager, Darryn Charlsworth envisioned a solution to improve safe access onto trailers for drivers. Developed in partnership with O’Phee Trailers, the safety handle is now a standard inclusion on all Jarratt trailers.
Daimler Emerging Leader of the Year Award – Canea Mersky, South East Queensland Hauliers
Canea is a motivated young person that sees certainty in a career in the transport industry after starting in the industry at 21. Recently promoted to customer service manager at SEQH, Canea immersed herself into the one- on-one coaching and professional development sessions maximising the benefits of the scholarship. Canea has a bright future ahead of her and was an outstanding candidate in this year’s intake.