The ATA has announced the finalists for its 2016 National Trucking Industry Awards and that Noelene Watson has won a second term as chair of the Trucking organisation.ATA Chief Executive Christopher Melham said the awards recognise the achievements of some of the most dedicated and professional individuals and businesses in the trucking industry.

“As an industry, we are fortunate to have many very skilled and professional people who work tirelessly to keep our industry running safely and reliably. The quality of this year’s finalists is absolutely outstanding, and I congratulate each of them on their achievement,” Mr Melham said.

The ATA  has also announced that  Noelene Watson has been re elected as the chair for a second term. Mrs Watson was elected unopposed at the ATA’s annual general meeting in Canberra last week.Mrs Watson is the managing director of Don Watson Transport and has a deep understanding of the industry both as an operator and at an association level. She was first elected as the chair of the ATA in 2014, after many years of experience on the ATA board of management.

Also at the meeting, the ATA elected new directors David Smith and Sharon Middleton to its board.

David Smith is the President of the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of South Australia, a member of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Australia National Council, and Managing Director of D&S Smith Haulage in Tumby Bay, SA.

“It’s critical that we encourage and promote chain of responsibility and safety in our own industry,” Mr Smith said.

I look forward to working with the Chair and the Board to ensure the ATA is really connected with the grassroots of the trucking industry.”Sharon Middleton is the President of the South Australian Road Transport Association, and the owner and Director of SA business Whiteline Transport.

“As someone who still actively drives high productivity vehicles across the Nullarbor, I get to see firsthand the challenges faced by small to medium operators in rural and remote Australia. Their issues are quite unique, and need to be accounted for in national decisions,” Mrs Middleton said.

Andrew Garrety, Kathy Williams, Mike Almond and Austin Vella were re-elected unopposed to the board, and Andrew Garrety was re-elected unopposed as the ATA’s secretary/treasurer. The Council also paid tribute to the ATA’s two retiring directors, Trevor Martyn and Gordon Martin.

Meantime, the 2016 National Trucking Industry Awards finalists are:

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

  • John Beer, J & M Beer Carrying Service (Romsey, VIC)
  • John Rowe, Victorian Freight Specialists (Dandenong South, VIC)
  • Bryan Smith, Rocky’s Own Transport (Rockhampton, QLD)
National Professional Driver of the Year
Award sponsors: BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Trucks
  • Garry McVey, McVey’s Transport (Fishermans Paradise, NSW)
  • Nigel Felton, All Purpose Transport (Underwood, QLD)
  • Pamela Jeffery, Plant Hire Services (Kununurra, WA)
Trucking Industry Woman of the Year 
Award sponsor: Cummins South Pacific
  • Melanie Cosgrove, SRV Road Freight Services (Ormeau, QLD)
  • Melissa Taylor, Taylor’s Removals and Storage (Toowoomba, QLD)
  • Dianne Carroll, Trans-Help Foundation (Tungamah, VIC)
TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award 
Award sponsor: Austbrokers AEI Transport
  • Richers Transport Pty Ltd (Maryborough, QLD)
  • Shackell Transport Pty Ltd (Pottsville, NSW)
  • Fellows Bulk Transport (Deniliquin, NSW)
National Training Excellence Award
  • All Purpose Transport (Berrinba, QLD)
The award winners will be announced on Saturday 25 June at the ATA Foundation Sponsors Gala Dinner on the Gold Coast as part of Trucking Australia 2016, the ATA’s national conference. To register for Trucking Australia 2016 or book tickets for the dinner, visit