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ATA Directors

Chair David Smith

David Smith is managing director of D&S Smith Haulage and has worked in the transport industry for more than 40 years as a driver, business owner and industry leader through his involvement in associations and committees.

David is Chair of the ATA, President of the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of South Australia, and former President of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association. David is passionate about encouraging young people in the transport industry and strives to ensure the sustainability of the industry long term.

Vice Chair Austin Vella

Austin Vella has been a member of the ATA board of directors since 2014, and is managing director of Vellex - a family owned and operated business focusing on providing freight distribution and logistics solutions across the eastern states of Australia.

Austin values honesty, fairness and integrity, always making certain that safety comes first, having been a member of the ATA’s safety accreditation scheme, TruckSafe, since 2005. 

Secretary/treasurer Andrew Garrety

Andrew Garrety is director of Chess Moving Canberra, a former chair of the Australian Furniture Removers Association and is the ATA’s Treasurer and Secretary.

Andrew has been a member of the ATA board since 2012 and has a passion for advancing the interests of both furniture removalists and trucking operators generally, as well as advancing industry safety and productivity.

Immediate Past Chair Geoff Crouch

Geoff is the managing director of Ron Crouch Transport and has more than 23 years’ experience working within the reliable firm and a deep understanding of the trucking industry as both an operator and at an association level.

Geoff has been a director of the ATA since 2013 and held the position of Chair from 2017-2020. Geoff is also a former President of ATA member association NatRoad, and familiar with the challenges and opportunities facing trucking operators and the need to stand up for our industry.

Noelene Watson

Noelene Watson is managing director of Don Watson Transport and has been responsible for the development of the company’s business strategy and operational structure and has grown the business into new and emerging markets.

Noelene has been a director of the ATA since 2004 and held the position of Chair from 2014 – 2017. As Chair, Noelene campaigned for strong practical road safety measures and sought to promote a more professional perception of the transport industry.

David Simon

David Simon is executive chairman of Simon National Carriers and has a deep understanding of the industry both as an operator and at an association level. David has many years of experience on the ATA board of management and general council and held the position of Chair from 2010 – 2014. 

David is passionate about fixing heavy vehicle regulation, truck charges and fatigue management.

Sharon Middleton AM

Director of Whiteline Transport, Sharon Middleton is President of the South Australian Transport Association, an ATA board member, a former director of Transport Women Australia, and was inducted into the Transport Hall of Fame in 2014.

Sharon was named the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year in 2013 and was awarded the South Australian Road Transport Association’s Outstanding Contribution Award in 2011.

Sharon was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List for her service to the road transport industry. 

Andy Divall

Andy Divall is the owner and Managing Director of Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage, a company he established in 1991 with his brother Michael.

Andy has diversified the Goulburn-based company’s operations to meet the needs of the local community and strives to retain local staff by offering wide-ranging and professional opportunities.

In 2018, Andy was named a Kenworth Legend for his leadership and demonstration of strength, perseverance and success in the Australian trucking industry.

Committed to safety, Andy has been an advocate for the ATA’s TruckSafe accreditation system, joining in 1999. In 2011, Divall’s won the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for fostering a strong culture of safety in every part of their business.

Simon Skazlic

Simon Skazlic is the Executive General Manager, HS&E/Compliance at K&S Freighters, first joining the company in 1990.

Simon has made major contributions to improving the safety of truck drivers and other personnel as a member of an Industry committee known as the LUEZ (loading, unloading exclusion zone) Committee which developed best practice guidelines for the safety of truck drivers and other personnel around mobile plant during the process of loading and unloading vehicles.

Additonally, Simon was also a member of a separate Industry committee which developed Industry guidelines to assist employers, drivers and mechanical service providers to implement effective controls during the repair of a broken-down truck by the roadside. The guidelines are referred to as TEBARS (Truck Emergency Breakdown and Roadside Safety).

Simon has been a key contributor to the ATA Council since 2003 and was the 2013 winner of the ATA’s Don Watson Memorial Award for his conspicuous service to the trucking industry.

Julie Russell OAM

Julie Russell is a director and third generation family member actively working in Russell Transport. With 15 years’ experience in the family’s road transport business. She extended her knowledge base through university and gained valuable insight into external markets outside the family business for several years before returning in 2007 to oversee the running of the risk, compliance, human resources and back office support functions of the growing family business. 

Over the years, Julie has actively worked on numerous committees and boards within the road transport industry to provide a medium sized family business perspective to policy proposals, training standards, industry awareness programs and similar initiatives that arise in the ever-changing landscape of the industry.

Julie was named Queensland Trucking Association Woman of the Year in 2014 and National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year in 2015. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2023.