Heavy vehicle transport wasn’t a career she had previously considered, but when Annastasia Denigan landed her first role in transport, the opportunities within the industry were clear.
After securing an admin role at a refrigerated transport business in her hometown of Geelong when she was 20, Denigan soon found her calling, developing a strong interest in heavy vehicle accreditation, certification and on-road compliance. Now, 18 years on, she hasn’t looked back.
“I have a passion to learn and found the complexity of compliance and safety interesting. When I started in the industry, it wasn’t as advanced in safety as it is today, with Chain of Responsibility not yet implemented back then, so it’s been quite an interesting journey,” explains Denigan.
Following her role as Compliance Officer at Blackney’s Refrigerated Transport, she moved to Queensland to take on a role as National Linehaul Compliance Manager at Toll Refrigerated. “That was a big step in my career,” she says. “When I applied, it was a job I didn’t think I’d get. However, Toll Refrigerated wanted me as part of their senior management team so I packed up and went to Brisbane.”
This was followed by positions as National Health, Safety, Environment, Quality Manager at DGL Australia; Head of Compliance and Safety – Australia and NZ at DGL Australia; and her current role as Safety and Sustainability Specialist at Cement Australia in Brisbane, which she joined in 2017.
According to Denigan, each of these roles was an opportunity for growth and personal development. “I’ve been able to go along with regulatory changes within the industry. I’m extremely passionate about heavy vehicles and road safety, I love trucks and I probably talk about them far too much. Road safety is important regardless of whether we’re talking about heavy vehicles or not. I’d encourage everyone to take the pledge and Drive to Survive (Sarah Foundation). I’m involved in the industry and I like to work collectively with the industry to drive change right across the board.”
Denigan also credits the Transport Women’s Association with helping to shape her career path through its excellent mentoring and leadership. “They are a fantastic group of women and I couldn’t praise them highly enough,” she says.
Denigan describes the industry as one where hard work pays off. “I love the passion and commitment of people in the industry. It’s an industry where you don’t know what you’re going to wake up to, each day is different.”
This year, Denigan has also been announced as a finalist in the Women in Industry Awards, in the Safety Advocacy category. “It was extremely special to be nominated, particularly because it was a nomination by my peers. After seeing the calibre of finalists, to even to be considered within their league was a great honour.”