Opinion

TWAL: Lots to look forward to after a challenging year

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For possibly the first time in the last three years I have really struggled to put the column together this time. This may be because I have had to work from home for the last several weeks and the only human interaction I have had is via Teams, Zoom, Skype and the telephone except for the occasional drop off of coffee and office supplies.

Although I am quite happy to spend my time alone it doesn’t keep you up with what is happening in the world of transport and I didn’t want to dwell on the topics I have been speaking about in previous columns like image and mental health as I don’t want to bore you too much.

We are just staring down the barrel of the end of the year and all of us will be so glad to see the back end of 2020, Transport Women Australia Limited has been fully engaged in preparing for the 2021 “Driving the Difference” conference to be held in Melbourne from May 28-30.

Many of our loyal sponsors have signed up already but we are still looking for more. We are also looking for speakers and welcome any submissions to chair@transportwomen.com.au.

The Driving the Difference scholarships are due on October 31 so anyone planning to apply needs to get these in ASAP as no late entries will be accepted. The winners will be announced on November 16 and will be presented at event to be announced.

The Creating Connections Mentoring program is well subscribed and is proving highly successful; I have had many mentors throughout my career and I thoroughly recommend this program. It is beneficial to both mentor and mentee and can assist both in seeing strengths and weaknesses. They can then work together for mutual success.

We will be presenting the second Trish Pickering Memorial Award to an outstanding woman later this year, this award is made possible with the sponsorship of Wes Pickering and was awarded for the first time last year to Pam McMillan and is for outstanding contribution to the trucking industry over a long period of time by a woman. It is based on four pillars being leadership, strength, independence and acting as a role model for other women. Both Pam and our chosen recipient fulfil these criteria.

We are also looking forward to the announcement of the Australian Freight Industry Awards as we have two TWAL members shortlisted in the Young Achiever Award, our nominee Annastasia Denigan and member, Kimberlie Smart.

We wish them both well. We also have a nominee in the Female Leadership Award, so we are hoping for success in this category also.

Finally, with the easing of restrictions in Victoria we may again start to feel like we are part of the same country.

Not sure how long it will take to happen and the path to economic recovery will be slow and extremely long but at least we have made a slight start. Let us hope that we can make plans to celebrate Christmas together.

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