The next generation leading the transport industry

The transport industry needs a new generation of leaders to deal with the issues of today and address the challenge of technological disruption.

On 27–28 March, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) – in partnership with Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific – delivered a Future Leaders’ Forum. This career-defining professional development program brought hand-picked trucking business owners and employees to Canberra for two days of intensive workshops.

The Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum proved to be invaluable. The participants received media training and leadership mentoring and were given the valuable opportunity to raise key industry issues in lobbying meetings with government and opposition MPs at Parliament House. The Daimler future leaders raised the importance of improving truck rest areas, establishing safety-focused crash investigations and introducing the mandatory fitting of stability control in heavy vehicles.
The participants were eager to work closely with the politicians and gain firsthand experience delivering their ideas and taking part in meaningful discussion. Each future leader highlighted the importance of the trucking industry and the crucial role it plays in Australia’s economy. To quote future leader Coralie Chapman, “the only thing that is not delivered on a truck is a baby.”

Like the other participants, Coralie has demonstrated passion and commitment in striving to ensure the viability of the industry’s future. Each future leader is currently undertaking a leadership project focused on an industry issue, with many developing potential solutions to the key items discussed in the lobbying meetings.

The Daimler future leaders come from every state and territory and a range of roles, including logistics, business management, technology and innovation. All bring an innovative and important discussion and contribution to the table in addressing the issues of today and how they can be resolved.

For example, NatRoad nominee, Angus McKenzie, recognises the importance of taking further action to increase the quantity, capacity and quality of driver rest areas. He is developing a project aimed at reducing rates of driver fatigue and, ultimately, fatality rates. Daimler representative, Stacey Davies, is working on a project centring on workplace culture, recruiting and retaining staff and improving the image of the industry.

Although each project focuses on a different aspect of the transport industry, all have a common theme: increasing road safety and ensuring industry viability. Each Daimler future leader will be presenting their projects to industry professionals at Trucking Australia 2018 and I look forward to hearing these.

The success of the Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum would not be possible without the support of both Daimler and the ATA’s member associations. It is wonderful to have such high engagement from our member associations in developing these leaders. It is clear to see that each participant represents their employer and member organisation with pride.

The Forum has proved beneficial to not only the Daimler future leaders, but also the ATA, Daimler and our member associations. The Forum provided an engaging platform that allowed all participants, staff members and mentors to collaborate and develop lasting professional relationships.

Focusing on young talent is the key to building a stronger industry and I have full confidence in its future and the leaders of tomorrow.

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