Trucking industry celebrates award winners

On Saturday 25 June, the ATA presented six of our prestigious National Trucking Industry Awards at the ATA Foundation Sponsors 25th anniversary Gala Awards Dinner on the Gold Coast, which was held as part of Trucking Australia 2016. The winner were:

Don Watson Memorial Award:
Doug McMillan (Wodonga, VIC)

Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry:
Bryan Smith, Rocky’s Own Transport (Rockhampton, QLD)

National Professional Driver of the Year:
Nigel Felton, All Purpose Transport (Underwood, QLD)

Trucking Industry Woman of the Year:
Melissa Taylor, Taylor’s Removals and Storage (Toowoomba, QLD)

National Training Excellence Award:
All Purpose Transport (Berrinba, QLD)

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for excellence in the TruckSafe program:
Fellows Bulk Transport (Deniliquin, NSW)

The Don Watson Memorial Award honours conspicuous achievement in furthering the industry’s objectives. The 2016 award was presented to ATA Director and industry stalwart Doug McMillan, who retired from the ATA board at Trucking Australia 2016.

Among his many achievements, Doug led the campaign against an external Hume Highway bypass of Albury, in favour of the four lane freeway through the city and the construction of what is now the Spirit of Progress bridge across the Murray River.

The Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry Award went to Bryan Smith, the CEO of Rocky’s Own Transport. Under Bryan’s leadership, Rocky’s Own has been involved in a wide range of safety initiatives, including piloting the fatigue management standards that went on to become Advanced Fatigue Management, implementing satellite tracking and developing a new integrated mapping system to plan safer routes.

The National Professional Driver of the Year, Nigel Felton, started as an owner-driver in 1999 and first contracted to All Purpose Transport in 2003. Nigel was one of the first drivers to complete his Certificate III in Driving Operations under All Purpose Transport’s ‘Project APT’ program. He is now an in-house driver trainer for the company.

The National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year was awarded to Melissa Taylor from Taylor’s Removals and Storage. Her business acumen is credited for transforming Taylor’s Removals from a furniture removal business to a business with international capacity. She is dedicated to improving pathways into the transport industry and hopes to assist in positioning trucking as an industry of choice.

The National Training Excellence Award was presented to All Purpose Transport (APT) of Berrinba, Queensland. Using APT’s in-house driver trainer and in conjunction with the Qld Department of Transport and Main Roads, Project APT provides all APT owner drivers and employees with the opportunity to obtain formal qualifications. All Purpose Transport now has the most qualified driver workforce in Australia.

The TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award honours excellence in the ATA’s safety and business accreditation program, TruckSafe.

The winner was Fellows Bulk Transport (FBT) of Deniliquin, NSW. All FBT vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking devices, which can provide instant reports on vehicle status, location, ETA and activity. The business prides itself on putting safety first, and believes its greatest asset is its team of dedicated staff.

We also honoured two winners of the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award, Garth Hayes and Matthew Mitchell. Garth Hayes rescued an injured cyclist without a thought for his own safety, while Matthew Mitchell displayed great compassion by comforting a fatally wounded motorist.

The National Trucking Industry Awards would not be possible without our award sponsors: ATA Foundation Sponsors BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Group Australia; Cummins South Pacific; Austbrokers AEI Transport; DECA Training; Bridgestone; and Castrol. Thank you to you all.

The ATA will announce the winners of the Craig Roseneder Award for Technical and Maintenance Excellence in the Workshop and the Castrol Vecton Industry Technical Achievement Award at the Castrol Vecton Awards Dinner at the 2016 Technical and Maintenance Conference in October.

Nominations for these awards are now open at will also report on the topic.

*This column was written by ATA Chair, Noelene Watson.

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