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2015 National Trucking Industry Awards winners announced

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23 March 2015

The Australian Trucking Association has honoured leading trucking industry figures in the 2015 National Trucking Industry Awards.

The awards were presented at the ATA 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Hobart on Saturday as part of Trucking Australia 2015.

The 2015 National Trucking Industry Award winners are:

Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry
Heather Jones – Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls, Karratha, WA

National Professional Driver of the Year
Aaron Busk – Tytec Logistics, Wacol, QLD

National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year
Julie Russell – RB Russell Transport, Eagle Farm, QLD

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for excellence in the TruckSafe program
Jim Pearson Transport – Port Macquarie, NSW

National Training Excellence Award
Members of the Queensland Trucking Association – Various, QLD

Don Watson Memorial Award for conspicuous achievement in furthering the industry’s objectives
Paul ‘Harro’ Harrison – Paul Harrison Transport, NSW

The TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award went to Jim Pearson Transport from Port Macquarie in NSW. One of the founding members of the TruckSafe program, the Jim Pearson Transport fleet utilises real time satellite tracking to help manage fatigue and ensure compliance, and prides itself on providing exceptional facilities for its workers.

Jim Pearson recognised his father, Jim Pearson Snr, for his foresight in signing up to the TruckSafe program while it was still in its infancy.

“One thing I’ve learned is if you do a few things wrong, then it will snowball in the wrong direction. If you do the right thing, it will snowball in the right direction. TruckSafe is a pillar of the things we have done right,” Mr Pearson said.

“This award is a great honour, and recognises the cultures and many years of development that makes Jim Pearson Transport the company it is today.”

The Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry Award went to Heather Jones, the founder of the not-for-profit Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls and Director of her own business, Success Transport. Equally at ease changing a flat tyre or standing behind a podium as a motivational speaker, Heather is also actively involved in a number of transport organisations, including the WA Logistics Training Council, West Australian Pilots’ Association, Transport Women Australia, Transafe WA, and the WA RoadWise program.

“I’ve been a professional truck driver for more than 25 years now. I wanted to share this with as many women that I could, and bring them into our beautiful industry,” she said.

The winner of the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year Award, Julie Russell, is the Manager, Support Services for her family business, RB Russell Transport. In addition to her extensive duties in this role, she gives freely of her time to contribute to a number of industry and government groups, including work with the NHVR, QLD Transport and Main Roads, the QTA, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the ATA.

“Wow. I am deeply amazed and humbled to be even nominated for this award, particularly when I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with some amazing women,” she said.

“I do acknowledge that we are in a male dominated industry, but it’s also a family industry, and that gives me heart.”

The National Professional Driver of the Year, Aaron Busk, has never had an accident in his thirty year driving career. He has a reputation for going out of his way to help anyone in need, which is shown through his local community work with Meals on Wheels and in instances where he has stopped to assist stranded motorists.

“There’s been far too many people to list who have guided my career over the years, and shown me the right way to do things,” he said.

The National Training Excellence Award went to members of the Queensland Trucking Association for their involvement in the Queensland Government GenR8 School to Work Transitions program. Darren Nolan of Nolan’s Transport accepted the award on behalf of the businesses involved.

“In 2014, the GenR8 program has grown to have 50 employers and 21 schools involved, and our employment rate for graduates is over 66 per cent,” Mr Nolan said.

“A huge thank you to the QTA for supporting the program, and engaging with government to ensure the industry remains viable into the future.”

The Don Watson Memorial Award was presented to Paul ‘Harro’ Harrison, the Managing Director of Newcastle-based Paul Harrison Transport and long-time industry supporter.

“What an honour. I’ve been coming to these events for 25 years, and in all that time I’ve only missed two. When I started out, we had our first meeting on the road at Hexam,” he said.

“I’m just so keen on what the RTF and ATA have done over the years – without them, we would have been up the creek.”

The National Trucking Industry Awards are sponsored by ATA Foundation Sponsors BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Trucks; Cummins South Pacific; Austbrokers AEI Transport; DECA; Bridgestone Bandag and Castrol.



2015 NATIONAL TRUCKING INDUSTRY AWARD WINNERS

Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry
Award sponsors: BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Trucks

Heather Jones, Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls Inc
Karratha, WA
Heather has been involved in the trucking industry for many years, both as a driver and as the Director of her own business, Success Transport. Heather is committed to raising the profile of women in the industry, and established the Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls not-for-profit organisation to support this goal. Equally at ease changing a flat tyre or standing behind a podium as a motivational speaker, Heather has personally mentored and trained thirty new drivers into the industry to date. She is also actively involved in a number of transport organisations, including the WA Logistics Training Council, West Australian Pilots’ Association, Transport Women Australia, Transafe WA, and the WA RoadWise program.


National Professional Driver of the Year
Award sponsors: BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Trucks

Aaron Busk, Tytec Logistics
Wacol, QLD
Aaron Busk has never had an accident in his thirty year driving career. Aaron is the leading hand and mentor in his work team, providing guidance to new drivers and playing an active role in site safety. He has a reputation for going out of his way to help anyone in need, which is shown through his local community work with Meals on Wheels and in instances where he has stopped to assist stranded motorists. Aaron was awarded the NatRoad Professional Driver of the Year award in 2014.


Trucking Industry Woman of the Year
Award sponsor: Cummins South Pacific

Julie Russell, RB Russell Transport
Eagle Farm, QLD
Julie is the Manager, Support Services for her family business, RB Russell Transport. In addition to her extensive duties in this role, she gives freely of her time to contribute to a number of industry and government groups, including work with the NHVR, QLD Transport and Main Roads, the QTA, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the ATA. Julie is dedicated to improving the safety of heavy vehicle drivers, and instigated a program to place stickers such as ‘Can you see the driver’ and ‘My dad drives this truck’ on trucks to remind staff at delivery sites to be aware of the truck driver’s safety. Drivers have reported the stickers have improved their engagement with these workers, and the company believes this cost-minimal program may have saved a life. She was also instrumental in preparing RB Russell Transport to gain TruckSafe accreditation in 2000.


TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award to recognise excellence in the TruckSafe program
Award sponsor: Austbrokers AEI Transport Insurance Brokers

Jim Pearson Transport
Port Macquarie, NSW
Established in Port Macquarie in 1978, Jim Pearson Transport today runs a fleet of more than 160 prime movers from depots in Sydney, Brisbane, Taree, Port Macquarie and Grafton. Jim Pearson Transport employs more than 350 staff, and prides itself on providing exceptional facilities for its drivers and other workers. One of the founding members of the TruckSafe program, the Jim Pearson Transport fleet utilises real time satellite tracking to help manage fatigue and ensure compliance.


National Training Excellence Award
Award sponsor: Driver Education Centre of Australia (DECA)

Members of the Queensland Trucking Association
Various, QLD
Through the Queensland Government GenR8 School to Work Transitions program, QTA members Blenners Transport, Daryl Dickenson Transport, KS Easter, Followmont Transport, Frasers Livestock Transport, Haulmark Trailers, Lindsay Australia, Nolan’s Interstate Transport, Russell Transport, Trailer Sales, Transpacific, Wickham Freight Lines and Willow’s Bitumen Haulage and Tipper Hire have helped Queensland high school students gain real-life work experience and job opportunities in the transport and logistics industry. Through the program, students undertake 20 days of industry placement and study to gain their Certificate II in Logistics. These businesses have also provided a number of apprenticeship or job offers to graduates of the program.


Don Watson Memorial Award for conspicuous achievement in furthering the industry’s objectives

Paul “Harro” Harrison, Paul Harrison Transport
Newcastle, NSW
The Managing Director of Newcastle-based Paul Harrison Transport, Paul “Harro” Harrison is a very familiar face around the industry, attending almost every ATA event held since its formation. He is a dedicated supporter of Newcastle and Hunter Road Transport Awareness day, which raises funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service. Paul is keen to preserve the transport history of Newcastle, and maintains a premises solely devoted to restoring and preserving older vehicles.

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