The Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) honoured several distinguished guests and gave thanks to their efforts at the 2022 Queensland Road Freight Industry Awards.
Gathering at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane, more than 400 guests were invited to reconnect with colleagues and friends while seeing some of the peers being acknowledged for their achievements within the last year.
Keynote speaker of the evening, Dr Craig Challen SC OAM, spoke of his challenging experiences as a decorated diver and cave explorer, touching on his ordeal that led him to rescuing the Thai soccer team in 2018.Dr Craig Challen.
QTA CEO, Gary Mahon, applauded Dr Challen’s bravery and courage in sharing his experiences.
He said the ‘orthodox thinking’ Dr Challen mentioned in his speech is what the trucking industry in Australia needs.
Alongside Dr Challen, several honourable government representatives were in attendance, including Minister for Agriculture and Emergency Management, Senator, Murray Watt, and Shadow Minister for Northern Australia and Resources, Senator Susan McDonald.
To congratulate the efforts of Queensland truck drivers, several awards were presented throughout the gala.
With a career in the transport industry spanning over 65 years, Jim Hurley has been known as one of the most committed members of the trucking community. His fourth-generation family business has become one of the largest truck dealerships groups in Australia, and Jim has been the figurehead of making Brown and Hurley what it is today. His achievements earned him the 2022 Industry Excellence Award at the gala, congratulating his dedication and commitment to his work and the community around him.
More awards followed over the night, including the 2022 Trucking Woman of the Year, Professional Driver of the Year, Daimler Emerging Leader of the Year and 2022 Young Achiever of the Year, bringing about dual award winners.Trucking Woman of the Year, Melira Lister.
Melira Lister was gracious enough to accept the honour of Trucking Woman of the Year, finding a great passion in the industry, particularly in heavy lifting and oversize overmass freight tasks.
Working on major multimillion dollar infrastructure and renewable energy projects, her skills in negotiation, advocacy and problem solving have been put to use, leading to successful results for her clients. As a strong advocate for women in the transport community, Lister recognises the lack of female representation within the industry. Her peers can endorse her ambitious work ethic and passion for challenging tasks, ones that have led her into various management positions.
With an outstanding driving record and hardworking attitude, Kathryn Mobbs became the first ever female QTA Professional Driver of the Year. Admired by her clients and colleagues within her 25-year employment at the Easter Group, Kathryn provides them with reassurance of safety and organisation with her extensive mechanical and technical knowledge.
Like Mobbs, Canea Mersky was recognised for her constant motivation and engagement in her career as a young person in the industry. As a Customer Service Manager at South East Queensland Hauliers, the 2022 Daimler Emerging Leader of the Year recognition was awarded for her formidable efforts within the last year.
Dual winners of the 2022 Young Achiever of the Year award were congratulated for their extreme dedication and motivation to their work, recognising their contribution at a young age. Dean Ryan of Clayton’s Towing began his career in the industry at 18 years old and has since proved an excellent work ethic and passion for the job. Similarly valued by his employer and colleagues, Hugh Paton of Sizer and Coggil has put his hard work into various roles in the trucking industry. A dual apprenticeship post high school and opening up his own business soon after has given him the skills and opportunities that landed him his current role of Operations Manager.Frasers Livestock Transport was awarded for training and skilling excellence.
To end a night of recognition, two companies were acknowledged for their endeavours and contribution to industry within the last year. Frasers Livestock Transport has an extensive knowledge of cattle behaviour and handling technique and have since identified a gap in training principles for drivers. To combat this gap, a new curriculum was created to promote safer work practices and to improve animal welfare. In its success, it has reached three locations across Queensland, with over 150 trainees and earned the 2022 Training and Skilling Excellence Award at the gala.
The Innovation and Safety Award is a top priority of the trucking industry, and Jarratt Transport Solutions has implemented a low-cost and fundamental tool to prevent injury and promote safety. Sitting on top of trailers to assist climbing on and off the truck, the handle always maintains three points of contact and can be easily stored away when not in use. All Jarratt trailers now include this new feature, hoping it reduces the risk of injury and disaster.
QTA President, Paul Kahert, commended the winners from the evening.
“Our members recognised tonight are outstanding and the QTA is proud to have them as representatives of the Association,” he said.
“On behalf of the QTA Board of Directors, I offer congratulations to all who have been honoured tonight, all are very worthy winners.”
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