People at the heart of 30th Anniversary Australian Freight Industry Awards

When former VTA executive director Phil Lovel, and the secretariat he led for over 20 years, conceived of the Australian Freight Industry Awards way back in the late 1980s, who would’ve thought the awards would grow over the next three decades to become one of the industry’s most sought-after accolades for freight operators and the people they employ.

Phil and his team were indeed visionary for recognising a gap in the market for recognition that could galvanise every part of the transport industry and the broader supply chain under an umbrella that also helped to improve perceptions of our industry.

Those inaugural awards in 1989 quickly grew from a small celebratory dinner at the end of the then Australian Road Transport Federation’s annual conference to an event attended by over 350 people just a year later.

Year-on-year growth saw the awards escalate into an event attended by hundreds of representatives of the transport industry.

Fast forward to the 10th Anniversary awards in 1999 and 3000 people bumped into two rooms at Jeff’s Shed on the banks of the Yarra River in a best-practice example in serving five-star restaurant quality food to the masses.

Most importantly, the awards then – and now – are pitched at everyone that works in transport from schedulers and drivers, right through to senior executives and administrators, and the customers and suppliers that are equal investors in the industry we all love and support.

Over the years the awards have evolved to reflect the ever-changing nature of our industry.

Categories have been introduced to acknowledge the growing diversity of transport, together with the impact of technology and innovation that are so essential to the modern-day freight and logistics operator.

But the one constant that has been an intrinsic part of the awards are people.

In as much as an Australian Freight Industry Award recognises operators and their customer and supplier companies, it is the people who do the work, develop the technology, drive the safety improvements and represent the industry that we recognise and celebrate.

In 30 years of Australian Freight Industry Awards we’ve recognised luminaries from right across the industry and I’m pleased to welcome entries from road, rail, sea and air freight operators – and their customers and suppliers – to contest this year’s awards.

The awards are but one way that the VTA recognises the fantastic achievements of operators across our industry and we welcome nominations for any of the seven categories being contested.

Categories include Investment in People Award, Best Practice Safety Award, Application of Technology Award, Sustainable Environment Award, Young Achiever Award, Female Leadership Award and the Personality of the Year Award.

Winners and finalists will be announced at the gala awards presentation at the Palladium at Crown Melbourne on Saturday, 7 September.

Like the awards themselves, the award presentation has evolved to become part and parcel of the AFIA experience, featuring some of Australia’s hottest acts and performers including Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens, Kate Ceberano, Mark Seymour, Glen Shorrock, Normie Rowe and the Seekers.

Building on last year’s successful theme of The Greatest Show, the gala presentation dinner this year celebrates the music of Queen following on from the phenomenal success of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Attending the awards is a great way to network and interact with peers, whilst supporting winners and finalists and celebrating their achievements.

It’s also a way for companies to acknowledge their own people with an entertaining night out and an evening of camaraderie and friendship.

Ticketing and Award information and entry forms are available at, as is a short video compilation of past highlights we’ve assembled to commemorate this 30th Anniversary of the awards.

The deadline for entries and purchasing tickets is Monday, 19th August.

I hope you can show your support for our industry by submitting an entry and attending what is shaping up as another fantastic Australian Freight Industry Awards presentation.

Peter Anderson
Victorian Transport Association

Leave a Reply

  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend