The Gippsland region in southern Victoria has long had a close association with road transport since the early days with the region home to number of diverse and dedicated haulage operations working across a large geographical part of the state.
And, as in years past, the trucking community will come together on Saturday, March 4, for the 2023 Boss Forestry/Gippsland Truck Centre East Gippsland Convoy for Kids.
Since its inception in 2010, the convoy, which makes its way from different starting points in Gippsland to meet at the Great Lakes Airfield in Lakes Entrance, has been a popular event which has raised money for a variety of children’s charities in the area.
Held every four years, and after a year’s delay due to Covid organisers are aiming to go one better than the 2018 Convoy which saw over $70,000 raised on the day.
In 2023 the Convoy will be raising money for Camp Quality, Angel Flight and Ronald McDonald House, with the volunteer committee planning a family fun day at the conclusion of the Convoy.
Tanya Dixon, from the Convoy organising committee, is looking forward to breaking the 2018 roll-up of 180 trucks which came from the greater Gippsland regions, the NSW Sapphire Coast and from as far afield as Melbourne and Sydney.
“We will have two convoys starting from Orbost and Traralgon joining up at the Lakes Entrance Airfield. We will be having ‘lead truck’ auctions commencing in early January and people are also welcomed to run their own fundraising campaigns and dig deep, which we will run through our Facebook page” she said.
Current planning will see trucks muster and depart Traralgon at 7.30am and Orbost at 9am, running along the Princes Highway converging on the Lakes Entrance airfield at 11am.
A family fun day will follow through to 4pm with a truck Show-N-Shine, Charity Auction, food trucks, merchandise and trade stalls along with a variety of entertainment for young and old. Admission to the alcohol-free event is a very reasonable $5 per person, $10 per vehicle with trucks admitted for free.
With road transport such a critical part of the Gippsland economy, the convoy has strong corporate support in 2023 from Barinsdale based businesses, Boss Forestry and the Gippsland Truck Centre.
This is backed up by a number of gold, silver and bronze sponsors, and contributions from a variety of local businesses for support and managing the requirements of the event on the day. As is often the case with these types of events, local community groups also step up to help out.
“We try to involve community groups where possible to help spread the fundraising, and this time the Lakes Entrance Fire Brigade/CFA are playing a large part in providing services on the day with proceeds also going to them,” said Dixon.
Rounding out the day’s activities is the Transport Industry Dinner which is sponsored by Dixon Transport Insurance Brokers and Kennedy Trailers, which will follow at the Lakes Entrance Golf Club kicking off at 6pm.
A minute’s silence will be observed to remember those in the local trucking industry who have passed on, with a two-course dinner and entertainment to follow making for a great finish to the event.
A Kenworth T659 log truck which is owned by local company S.R. Dicker Contracting, has been chosen as the ‘face’ of the convoy, with the truck featuring in the convoy logo which has been designed and donated by artist Paul McVilly.
The event logo is a feature on all posters and promotional material for the event, along with a range of merchandise that has been produced including shirts, hoodie tops and caps which will be available on the day.
With generally fantastic weather across the Gippsland region in early March, the day is shaping up to be a great day out for truck enthusiasts young and old, and Tanya Dixon is part of a determined team working hard to ensure the day will be a success and raise plenty of money for the nominated charities.
“We have 9 dedicated community members who are committed to making the event great!”
For further information check out the East Gippsland Convoy for Kids Facebook page or email: email@example.com and for Transport Industry Dinner bookings, or merchandise enquiries contact Dixon Transport Insurance Brokers on (03) 5152 3931.