NatRoad founder Sam Sali passes away aged 86

One of the National Road Transport Association’s founding fathers, Sam Sali, has passed away at the age of 86.

Sali passed away in hospital in Bendigo yesterday, surrounded by his loving family.

A very well-known figure in the transport industry, he was a foundation member and director of the National Transport Federation, which became NatRoad in 1994 after it merged with the Long Distance Road Transport Association.

He went on to serve as a director of NatRoad until 2001. 

Sali was a dedicated advocate for transport industry workers and instrumental in the restructuring of the Long Distance Drivers Award, as well as the introduction of enterprise bargaining to the industry.

NatRoad Chairman Paul Fellows said: “Sam Sali was a giant of road transport and a passionate champion for our industry.

“His passing is a significant loss to us all and our thoughts go to his family and extensive network of friends.”

Sali is honoured at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame at Alice Springs, along with his late brother Alan and another of his brothers, Haset. 

He was a recipient of the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award for his contribution to his local community and was a lifetime member of the Shepparton Albanian Society. 

The son of Albanian immigrants who moved to Shepparton in 1937, Sali completed a motor mechanic apprenticeship before forming trucking company S Sali & Sons in 1956 with his brother Alan. 

He spent many years driving trucks before moving to the management side of the business in the ‘70s and eventually becoming involved in industry advocacy.

S Sali & Sons remains in business to this day and prides itself on never accepting clients who demand unreasonable delivery times.



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