You are here

Finalists announced for the 2012 National Trucking Industry Awards

04 May 2012

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has today announced the finalists for the 2012 National Trucking Industry Awards.

The Chairman of the ATA, David Simon, said the prestigious awards are a highlight of the Australian trucking industry’s year, and recognise the achievements of some of its most dedicated people and companies.

“The quality of applications this year was extremely high. The finalists selected by the ATA’s judging panel represent the best our industry has to offer,” Mr Simon said.

“The finalists include men and women who have contributed to the industry over many years and millions of kilometres, as well as the two finalists for our Highway Guardian Award, whose actions in a single moment of crisis revealed their sterling character.

“Meanwhile, the finalists for the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award are three of Australia’s safest trucking businesses. Companies in the TruckSafe program are twice as safe as non-accredited operators; these finalists are the best of the best.”

The 2012 National Trucking Industry Award finalists are:

- Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry – Bob Woodward (Wagga Wagga, NSW), Alan Yates (Dandenong, VIC) and Tony McGrath (Carrington, NSW).

- National Professional Driver of the Year – Raymond Barrie (Emerald, QLD) and William Watson (Colac, VIC).

- Trucking Industry Woman of the Year – Dianne Carroll OAM (Tarcutta, NSW), Rosalind Shaw (Wynnum, QLD,) and Jacquelene Brotherton (Laverton, VIC).

- Highway Guardian Award – Arthur Varsamidis (Oakley, VIC) and Tim Chellas (Parkes, NSW).

- TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award – Lloyd’s North Transport (Quoiba, TAS), Richers Transport (Maryborough, QLD) and Cleary Bros (Port Kembla, NSW).

The award winners will be announced on Friday 18 May at the ATA Foundations Sponsors Gala Awards Dinner at the Rosehill Gardens Event Centre, Sydney. The Training Excellence Award, sponsored by DECA Training, and the Don Watson Memorial Award will also be presented on the night.

The dinner is part of the Australian Trucking Convention, which will be held in Sydney from 16-19 May. To attend the evening, purchase a ticket or register as a delegate visit

The details of the finalists are as follows.


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

Bob Woodward – Barkwood Consulting
Wagga Wagga, NSW

Bob has been involved in the road freight industry since the early 1970s, and has been the secretary/ director of Barkwood Consulting for the last 12 years. During his career, Bob has helped revolutionise the way freight is carried on Australian roads. He was involved in the design of the first Queensland B-double in 1985, developed the concept of the tandem/ tri-axle B-double in 1988, and had significant input into the design of the 19 metre B-double. Bob represents the ATA on the Australian Government’s heavy vehicle technical advisory committees, is a long time member of the ATA’s Industry Technical Council and has a key role in running the yearly Technical and Maintenance Conference.

Alan Yates – International Energy Services
Dandenong, VIC

Alan started in the trucking industry as an owner driver in 1976, after working as a bank teller. He is now the Group Asset Manager for International Energy Services, the parent company of Cootes Transport and IES Resources, where he is responsible for more than 1,600 pieces of equipment. Alan has implemented a host of safety measures at IES, including daytime running lights and side underrun protection on all new vehicles. Alan has been actively involved in industry bodies for many years, including the ATA and the National Bulk Tanker Association, which he chairs. Alan has coached and mentored a number of people who now have respected and key positions within the transport industry.

Tony McGrath – McGrath Newcastle
Carrington, NSW

Tony founded McGrath Newcastle in 1983, and it is now one of the largest family owned and operated transport and distribution business in Newcastle. In addition to his business achievements, Tony has been closely involved with the organisation of the Newcastle and Hunter Region Road Transport Awareness Day since it began in 1994. Since then, the day has raised more than a million dollars for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service. Tony is a strong supporter of the ATA’s road safety and industry exhibition, the Road Ahead, and has arranged for it to visit a number of schools in the Hunter region. A director of the TruckSafe industry accreditation program and a member of the ATA NSW policy council, Tony has showed great dedication to improving the safety and professionalism of the industry and raising its profile. In 2011, ATA NSW awarded Tony its inaugural Outstanding Contribution award.

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

Raymond Barrie – Emerald Carrying Company
Emerald, QLD

Raymond started working at the Emerald Carrying Company as a wash hand in 1996, and obtained his B-double licence by the age of 21. Since then, he has driven more than 2.4 million kilometres without an accident. Raymond now works as a driver trainer with the company and passes on his expertise to the company’s other drivers. In 2011, Raymond partnered with ECC fuel driver Richard Knight to take out first place in the team section of the BP Australian and New Zealand national driver awards. Also in 2011, he won the Queensland Trucking Association’s Professional Driver of the Year award.

William Watson – Wettenhalls
Colac, VIC

William is a true professional and elder statesman of the industry. He has worked for the Wettenhalls Groups for the last 37 years, and has recorded more than 50 years of accident-free driving. He is an enormously skilled and experienced semitrailer and B-double driver, and is always willing to teach the next generation of drivers about the industry. His customer service is outstanding; the presentation of his vehicle is always immaculate. William won the NTI NatRoad Professional Driver of the Year Award in 2011.

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

Dianne Carroll OAM – Trans-Help Foundation
Tarcutta, NSW

Dianne established the Trans-Help Foundation in 2006 to support drivers and their families, and is its CEO and Manager Director. The foundation provides emergency respite, a national support line and a mobile health and support unit, and has helped many thousands of people in the trucking industry since it was established. Dianne received an Order of Australia Medal in 2010 for her service to the community, and was also voted ‘Australia’s Most Helpful Person’ in a national competition. In 2011, Dianne studied counselling and psychology in order to further her work with the foundation.

Rosalind (Roz) Shaw – Hawkins Transport
Wynnum, QLD

Roz began her career in the transport industry in 1981, when she joined Hawkins Transport as a Girl Friday. In 1997, she was appointed as the CEO of the company, which she has transformed into a diversified organisation operating Hawkins Road Transport, Moreton Island Adventures, Hawkins Fuels and the Port of Brisbane truck stop/truck wash. Roz is a member of the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Economic Steering Committee, the Queensland Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group and the board of the Queensland Trucking Association. In 2011, she was awarded the QTA’s inaugural Trucking Woman of the Year Award.

Jacquelene Brotherton – Oxford Logistics
Laverton, VIC

Jacquelene is the Transport Manager at Oxford Logistics, which operates the largest cold storage facility in Australia. Her job requires her to manage the movements of the many transport companies that use the facility. Her contribution to the industry goes far beyond the work requirements of her job, however. She is involved in many transport industry projects, including the development of a CoR code of practice for the refrigerated warehouse sector. She is a life member of the NSW Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association, an active member of the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia and is the immediate past chair of Transport Women Australia.

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

Arthur Varsamidis – Owner driver contracting for Yellow Express
Oakley, VIC

In October 2011, Arthur was in a traffic queue behind a car that drove on to the Greens Road railway crossing in Dandenong South as the warning signals were going. The car was hit by a Cranbourne-bound train; its two occupants were trapped inside and smoke started coming from its exposed engine. Arthur grabbed the fire extinguisher from his truck and ran to the car, doused the smouldering wreckage and comforted the driver and her passenger until ambulance crews arrived. Arthur then climbed back into his truck and continued his deliveries for the day as normal.

Tim Chellas – Linfox Linehaul
Parkes, NSW

Tim was stationary at a set of temporary traffic lights near Peak Hill on the Newell Highway in June 2011, with three other vehicles behind him. A B-double driver failed to slow down and slammed into the back of the queue. The B-double careered off the road and started to burn, with its driver trapped inside. Tim immediately called emergency services and used his onboard fire extinguisher to put out the flames, which unquestionably saved the B-double driver’s life. Tim was only able to do this, however, because of his attention to detail a month earlier. During a routine check of his truck, he decided to open the plastic bag containing his fire extinguisher rather than just confirming it was secure. When he opened the bag, he found the extinguisher’s trigger mechanism had detached from the tank, making it useless. He replaced the fire extinguisher – and was able to save the driver’s life as a result.

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

Lloyd’s North Transport
Quoiba, TAS

Lloyds North has been associated with TruckSafe since 2006, when it was the first company in Tasmania to achieve TruckSafe accreditation. The company has recorded perfect TruckSafe audits for many years. Lloyds North has found its accreditation provides a competitive edge when tendering for new business, as TruckSafe has an established reputation within the transport industry. The company also believes its accreditation is an advantage in attracting and retaining their driving workforce, as its drivers know they are working for a company that is prepared to invest in its personnel, equipment, systems and operations.

Richers Transport
Maryborough, QLD

Richers Transport began when Walter Richers, an employee of an ice vendor, accepted a model T Ford ice truck in lieu of wages when the business encountered financial difficulties. As the ice deliveries only took the early part of the morning, Walter began to look for other work the truck could do during the rest of the day. Today, the Richers fleet includes more than 350 units, and employs almost 200 people across south-east Queensland. Richers has been TruckSafe accredited since 1999, and has impressed auditors with its commitment to the TruckSafe standards.

Cleary Bros Pty Ltd
Port Kembla, NSW

Cleary Bros is a family owned company that specialises in a broad range of construction industry services, including concrete, transport, quarrying, civil engineering and waste management. Its Transport Division consists of more than 150 heavy duty trucks and has been TruckSafe accredited since 1998, with an outstanding level of safety and highly positive audit reports. Cleary Bros excels in its field, and won the 2011 Building and Construction Award at the Origin Energy Illawarra Business Awards.