Proud to be a truckie: NatRoad awards honour industry greats

By: Cobey Bartels


The awards night kicked off with acknowledgements for long-serving NatRoad members, as Aussie legend and ‘Lambassador’ Sam Kekovich kept the crowd doubled over in hysterics.

 The always hilarious and appropriately patriotic Sam Kekovich talked some sense into the audience, and you'd have been hard pressed finding somebody not crying from laughter!
The always hilarious and appropriately patriotic Sam Kekovich talked some sense into the audience, and you'd have been hard pressed finding somebody not crying with laughter!

"Trucking is the nipple that nurtures our nation," Kekovich joked as he preached about the importance of road transport both in the past, as well as into the future. 

The presentations kicked off with the Young Driver of the Year Award, a big pat on the back for an up and comer that stands to carry trucking into the future. 

Keen truckie Zachary Appleton from Murrell Freight Services, just 23 years of age, took out the coveted Young Driver of the Year Award after working his way from a forklift driver through to a B-double operator in just 18 months.

Young Driver of the Year, Zachary Appleton from Murrell Freight Services
Young Driver of the Year, Zachary Appleton from Murrell Freight Services

"With an aging workforce, recognising up-and-coming youth in the trucking industry has never been more important," NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said when discussing the award’s significance.

"I personally congratulate Zachery, who I’m sure is looking forward to a bright future in the industry."

The Professional Driver of the Year award is one this industry recognises as a true achievement, and this year’s winner truly deserved it.

Bruce Adam from J R McDonald Transport took out the 2017 Professional Driver of the Year Award and in his acceptance speech had the audience in awe of his humility and deep respect for trucking.

 2017 Professional Driver of the Year, Bruce Adam from J R McDonald Transport
2017 Professional Driver of the Year, Bruce Adam from J R McDonald Transport

"Having covered 4,700,000 km in his career, with the loss of only 3 demerit points, Bruce has proved to be an impeccable driver who proves his worthiness for this award with every day on the job" Clark told us. 

Lastly the Ted Pickering Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Road Freight Industry was presented to John Morris, a big name in the industry known in recent years for working with road transport committees and groups, winning the ear of prime ministers, transport ministers and other decision makers.

"Each year, we take pleasure in recognising outstanding members of the trucking community, and this year is no different," Clark said.

"It is a privilege to recognise these noteworthy award-winners".

Check out the live video of the presentations below!

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