ATA recognises top people in the transport industry


There were six different awards presented, with each having two or three nominees. The winners were:

Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry

Bill Manton, Simon National Carriers (Carole Park, Queensland)

Manton (C) accepts his award. (Image: Prime Creative Media)

Manton is currently the national training manager for Simon National Careers, and has enjoyed a career of more than four decades in the transport industry.

He has worked as a truck driver, manager and trainer, including for Volvo Group Australia.

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In 2017, he had a vital role in reviewing the Queensland TAFE system’s road transport training packages. Manton also worked closely with Austroads on its review of the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework.

Since then he has been a strong advocate for safety initiatives within the industry, helping to raise awareness of driving best practices.

National Professional Driver of the Year

Joshua Ulbrich, Ross Transport

Joshua Ulbrich (L) is handed the National Pro Driver Award. (Image: Prime Creative Media)

Multi combination driver Joshua Ulbrich of Ross Transport in Port Kembla, NSW has been crowned as the National Professional Driver of the Year for 2024.

He was presented the award at the Australian Trucking Association’s Trucking Australia 24 Conference amongst five other award winners in other categories.

The award recognises drivers who continue to put in the hard yards, honouring the changing freight task and demands on drivers.

Ulbrich began his transport career in the army, which shaped his disciplined and professional approach to driving.

He is a volunteer committee member of ‘Truckies against Bullying,’ which was created by a truck driver and his wife who chose to take a stand against bullying in schools and workplaces.

National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year

Jenny Fellows, Fellows Bulk Transport

Jenny Fellows stands with fellow finalist Michelle Harwood. (Image: Prime Creative Media)

Administration manager for Fellows Bulk Transport, Jenny Fellows has been involved in the transport industry for more than 25 years.

She co-owns the business with her husband Paul, she shares her experience as a mentor in Transport Women Australia’s mentoring program.

Fellows famously established the Deniliquin Driver Education Program in 2006. It is now a week long course that teaches school students how to share the road safely and has expanded from Deniliquin to outlying schools.

The driver education program won the Australian Road Safety Foundation’s School Programs Award, part of the Australian Road Safety Awards.

Fellows honoured fellow nominee Michelle Harwood, executive director at the Tasmanian Transport Association, saying the award was ‘won by both women’.

National Training Excellence Award

Frasers Livestock Transport and South East Queensland Hauliers

(Image: Prime Creative Media)

The National Training Excellence Award was given to both nominees, with both Frasers Livestock Transport and South East Queensland Hauliers being honoured.

Frasers designed its own livestock transport training course for the industry to use, which is coordinated by the Queensland Trucking Association.

Since 2020, ten workshops have been held across the state for more than 200 participants. More than 90 per cent of the participants said that the skills and knowledge they gained from the course would enable them to do their jobs more safely and efficiently.

In 2023, SEQH introduced its comprehensive training program, Road Masters, which includes assessments for new drivers, upskill training, incident training and upgrading employees’ licences from HC to MC.

The program has had a significant positive impact on SEQH’s workforce, fostering skilled, competent and safety conscious drivers. The program has also increased the utilisation of SEQH’s fleet.

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award

Marley’s Transport

(Image: Prime Creative Media)

The John Kelly Memorial Award was awarded to the company that has most strongly committed to TruckSafe guidelines to make their business and operations safer.

Marley’s Transport embarked on their TruckSafe journey in 1999 to improve their safety and documentation standards, and has been committed to safety since then.

Since the business started in the small country town of Nangeenan back in 1969, Marley’s has expanded significantly.

It has gone from one truck carting fertiliser from the Nangeenan railhead to farmers to expanding to a fleet of 70 trucks carting grain, fertiliser, lime, livestock, raw materials and finished animal feed as well as operating an intermediate warehouse facility at its modern depot at Hope Valley.

Don Watson Memorial Award

Denis Robertson

Robertson receives the Don Watson Memorial Award. (Image: Prime Creative Media)

The Don Watson Memorial Award is one of the most special to earn, and ATA founder Denis Robertson was honoured to receive it.

Robertson served as the chair of the ATA from 1994 to 1996, and was a personal friend of Don Watson before his passing.

After the Grafton truck and bus crash in 1989, Robertson joined the leaders of three other trucking associations to recognise the need for a national body, which became the ATA.

He is a member of the ATA’s General Council and its Industry Technical Council, as well as the committee that manages the office building that the ATA developed under his leadership.

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