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2011 National Trucking Industry Award winners announced

30 May 2011

The Australian Trucking Association has honoured Australia’s top truck driver, and other leading industry figures in the 2011 National Trucking Industry Awards.

The awards were presented at a ceremony in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra, on Friday.

The 2011 National Trucking Industry Award Winners are

Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry
Terry and Daphne Nolan – Nolan’s Interstate Transport, Gatton, QLD

National Professional Driver of the Year
John Hastie – Blenners Transport, Tully, QLD

Highway Guardian Award for acts of bravery by professional drivers
Michael Munchow – Sedl Transport, Toowoomba, QLD

National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year
Sharon Kane – GMK Logistics, Smeaton Grange, NSW

Training Excellence Award
Women Take the Wheel Program, Brisbane, QLD

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for excellence in the TruckSafe program
Divall’s Earthmoving & Bulk Haulage, Goulburn, NSW

Don Watson Memorial Award for conspicuous achievement in furthering the industry’s objectives
Peter Armstrong, Prime Mover magazine, Brisbane, QLD

The winner of the inaugural Highway Guardian Award was Michael Munchow, who saved the lives of Shayne and Amanda Richardson in Withcott, Queensland, during the January 2011 floods.

Mr Munchow said, “I didn’t really think about it. It was just a natural thing to do, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I hope other people would as well.”

The National Professional Driver of the Year, John Hastie, said his 43 years on the road had been a wonderful journey.

“I remember jumping into my first truck as a young man, a Leyland Comet. I thought I was the bee’s knees: ten foot tall and bulletproof. It’s been a wonderful journey. I’ve enjoyed my life on the road as a driver,” Mr Hastie said.

The Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry Award was shared by Terry and Daphne Nolan of Nolan’s Interstate Transport.

Mr Nolan said, “I’d like to thank my wife, who has supported me in the industry for 44 years. Without her support, I wouldn’t be here talking to you.”

The winner of the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year Award, Sharon Kane of GMK Logistics,  said, “I am truly honoured to be receiving an award in an industry I’m very passionate about. When I’m asked how I have built such a successful company, I tell people it’s my staff. I dedicate this award to my staff, my father who is my mentor and my husband who is probably the only man to put up with a woman whose first love is trucking.”

The Training Excellence Award went to Women Take the Wheel, an alliance between the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, JJ Richards, Mission Australia and the Strategix Training Group.

Accepting the award on behalf of the alliance, Marnie Tisot from the department said it was evidence of what could result when government and industry aligned their talents.

“In the months and years to come, when you’re on the road and next to a heavy vehicle, the chances are there may be a woman at the wheel,” Ms Tisot said.

The TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award went to Divall’s Earthmoving & Bulk Haulage, based in Goulburn, NSW. Andy Divall accepted the award on behalf of the company.

“This award really goes to our truck drivers, our mechanics, our allocators and especially to my wife, who set up our TruckSafe program in 1999,” Mr Divall said.

The winner of the Don Watson Memorial Award was Peter Armstrong, the editor of Prime Mover magazine.

Presenting the award, ATA director Denis Robertson said Mr Armstrong’s commitment to the trucking industry shone through his writing and editing.
“When the ATA does something right, he reports it. When we make mistakes, he reports that as well,” Mr Robertson said.

The National Trucking Industry Awards are sponsored by ATA Foundation Sponsors BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Group Australia; Continental Tyres; Cummins South Pacific; DECA Training; AEI Transport Insurance; and Castrol Australia.

Media note: high resolution images of the award winners are available for media use by emailing or

Media contact: Bill McKinley   02 6253 6900 / 0488 292 823


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

Terry and Daphne Nolan – Nolan’s Interstate Transport
Gatton, QLD
When Terry and Daphne Nolan took over DM and MT Nolan from his father, the business had three trucks and three employees. Today, the company employs 165 people, runs 230 trucks and has cold storage for more than 1,000 pallets of produce. During that time, Terry and Daphne have been at the forefront of advancing safety and professionalism in the industry by achieving TruckSafe accreditation, HACCP certification, quality assurance certification and Fatigue Management Pilot certification.

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

John Hastie – Blenners Transport
Tully, QLD
With more than 5.5 million kilometres under his belt without damaging a vehicle or his produce load, John brings a professional attitude and great skill to the industry. John began his driving career in the United Kingdom at the age of 21, progressing to European runs before moving to Australia in the early 1970s. John worked for a variety of organisations carting bitumen, bananas and fuel before joining Blenners Transport in 1991. John has more than 43 years of international and Australian driving experience.

Highway Guardian Award for an act of bravery by a professional truck driver
Award sponsor: Continental Tyres Australia

Michael Munchow – Sedl Transport
Toowoomba, QLD
During the January 2011 floods, a wall of water roared down the main street of Withcott, in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley. Shayne and Amanda Richardson were in their Honda Jazz hatchback when it was caught by the flood and hurled down the street. At great risk to himself, Michael Munchow backed his semi-trailer into a pole to stop the car and pulled them into the cab of his truck.

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

Sharon Kane – GMK Logistics
Smeaton Grange, NSW
Sharon began her trucking career at the age of seven, earning 50 cents a week to file consignment notes in her father’s small transport company. With trucking in her blood, she left school at 15 and spent the next ten years doing every job in the company warehouse and office. Sharon is now the CEO of the family company – GMK Logistics – and has grown it into a multi-million dollar business with depots in every state. She also involved in the community, with support for Lifeline, Mission Australia and Ronald McDonald House. 

Training Excellence Award
Award sponsor: DECA Training

Women Take the Wheel Program
Brisbane, QLD
Women Take the Wheel is an alliance between waste management business JJ Richards & Sons, Mission Australia, Strategix Training Group and the Department of Transport and Main Roads. The program was designed to help Queensland women with no industry skills or experience enter the trucking industry. The pilot project trained 19 women to receive their HR licence. Nine of the participants then went on to complete a Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Driving Operations) with JJ Richards & Sons and now work for the company. Another four are employed with other companies; two enrolled at university for further studies.

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for excellence in the TruckSafe program
Award sponsor: AEI Transport Insurance

Divall’s Earthmoving & Bulk Haulage  
Goulburn, NSW
Divall’s Earthmoving & Bulk Haulage is a family owned business with 34 trucks. The company has been TruckSafe accredited since 1999, and has demonstrated the highest level of commitment to safety and meeting the standards required by the TruckSafe system. Andy Divall and his wife Jodie have also used the program to help grow their business and create new opportunities.

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

Peter Armstrong – Prime Mover magazine
Brisbane, QLD
Peter Armstrong began his career as a journalist with the Queensland Country Life and the Beaudesert Times. After a period as a truck driver, he joined the staff of Trucking Life, and since then has edited Owner Driver, Truck and Bus, and now Prime Mover. Peter’s work as a journalist and editor has always been characterised by the highest level of ethics and professionalism, as well as an understanding of the challenges facing the people who work in the industry.