A truck driver has told how he and his partner are organising a new event to take a stand against bullying in schools and workplaces, including the trucking industry.
Andrew Lattin and Sandy Davis were inspired to set up a charity, Truckies Against Bullying, after two of Davis’ children (Lattin’s stepchildren) suffered horrific bullying in school.
Their first event is the Truckies Against Bullying Truck, Car and Motorbike Show, which takes place at Bendigo Showgrounds in Victoria on November 4.
Lattin said: “The whole idea came about because our son, who’s 16, was getting bullied in school. We actually had to pull him out of school due to bullying. Our daughter, who is 14, was getting bullied as well.
“This cause is very close to our hearts because not only have our children suffered from the effects of bullying, being ostracised from their peers and feeling totally alone, they also withdrew into themselves which impacted their mental health.
“The effects on our family have been massive.”
Lattin said that he and his partner tried to do something about their kids being bullied, but their complaints weren’t taken seriously.
“We struggled with the schools and the public just not believing it and pushing it aside.
“We said it’s time to stop that, it’s time for these bullies to be held accountable and help out those who are being bullied.
“The statistics for bullying in Australian schools are staggering.”
Lattin believes a lot of bullying also takes place in the trucking industry, whether it’s discrimination against women or abuse of less experienced drivers.
“I’ve been a part of this industry for over 30 years as a forklift driver, a truck driver, a loader and so on.
“The bullying and the abuse that goes on just breaks my heart.
“I’ve heard women drivers being belittled, getting told to get back in the kitchen. It’s a disgrace.”
He and Davis have put a huge amount of effort into organising the Truckies Against Bullying Show and it’s shaping up to be a great day.
There will be a truck convoy from the Red Energy Arena to the showgrounds via high St Holdsworth Road, followed by a truck, car and bike show.
“We’re only charging a small registration fee of $30 for trucks and $10 for cars and bikes to cover administration costs,” Lattin explained.
“There will be no awards ceremony or category winners on the day, but we will be doing a prize draw for all entrants.
“We think having awards for Best Truck in Show etc can create competition and bullying, rather than everyone standing together, so we just wanted to avoid that.”
The day will have lots of fun for all the family, with food trucks, a coffee van, face painting and other activities.
The award-winning “Dark Devil” car will also be there, as well as Ross Transport’s pink 909, offering some excellent photo opportunities.
Lattin has also invited the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Victorian police to the event, as he said these bodies can often be the victims of bullying in the trucking industry.
“The NHVR and Vicpol are invited, we’re going to have Headspace there, and the Victorian Brotherhood, who raise awareness of suicide.
“I’m told the NHVR don’t usually come to truck shows because of bullying, but everyone is welcome to attend this show.”
He said it’s been a struggle to get the word out about the event, as it’s just been him and Davis organising it while working full-time, taking care of the kids, and preparing for their wedding on October 21.
“We have no sponsors at the moment, and we’ve had to do all the marketing ourselves. It’s all coming out of our own pocket – flyers, stickers, everything.
“We really encourage anyone who wants to come along to stand with us and say ‘We’re against bullying’.
“That’s what the day is about.”
Registration for the truck, car and bike show is still open and you can find more information about the show here.