HEAVY METAL PARADE: All for a good cause.
HEAVY METAL PARADE: All for a good cause.

Making noise about autism

AUTISM awareness was the big winner coming out of the extraordinary efforts of the team of volunteers who put together the one-day 2017 Lowood Truck Show.

Autism Queensland stands to gain a sizeable donation to its valuable work from the proceeds of the event.

What a selfless community of locals, truckies and visitors it was that came together in support of the work of Autism Queensland as it battles to help those who are touched by autism.

Bringing a strong focus to the realities of living with autism at the event was the Duggan Bulk Haulage's 2015 Cummins-powered limited edition Kenworth T-950 Legend.

Blowin' smoke! The boys and gals put on a bit of a performance for Lowood residents, pumping out 120 decibels.
Blowin' smoke! The boys and gals put on a bit of a performance for Lowood residents, pumping out 120 decibels.

Nicknamed 'Speechless', the Kenworth pays proud tribute to John and Karen Duggan's nine-year-old daughter Maddie, who lives with a diagnosis of severe, non-verbal autism.

Both sides of the truck's sleeper carry a mural to Autism Awareness and to Mouse, the family's deeply affectionate name for Maddie.

The Duggans are based in Emerald in central Queensland, but Karen, son Jack and Maddie reside in the Gold Coast hinterland so Maddie can attend a special needs school there.

"She is progressing extremely well,” mum Karen said.

The convoy rolls into Lowood and a sizeable donation for Autism Queensland was the outcome of the day.
The convoy rolls into Lowood and a sizeable donation for Autism Queensland was the outcome of the day.

John Duggan had just picked up two new Graham Lusty Trailers triaxle grain bins the day before and ran the street parade section of the show in doubles road train setup and then left the truck and trailer combination on show throughout the day.

The two new trailers also proudly carry Autism Awareness artwork by Cyclone Airbrush on both sides.

The combination took out the well-deserved Rig of the Show award.

Matt Lee, along with his young nephew Tyson, were also there for the day.

Tyson has also been diagnosed with autism and Matt, who runs Matt Lee's Excavations, was at the show with his tastefully turned out KW T600 tipper coupled to his tag-along machinery float loaded with a small excavator.

LAutism Awareness hits the highways with this paint job.
LAutism Awareness hits the highways with this paint job.

Matt also provided sponsorship for the event.

It was a big day to pull together but for organisers Rob Liston and Craig Severn, it was their fourth Lowood Truck Show and they couldn't have been happier.

"It was awesome, absolutely awesome,” Rob said.

With more than 150 vehicles of nearly all shapes, sizes, types and ages at the Lowood Showgrounds, both organisers were quietly confident of reaching their fundraising target on behalf of Autism Queensland.

Lowood Truck Show's organisers Rob and Kassie Liston, Craig Severn with Adrienne Costin from Autism Queensland .
Lowood Truck Show's organisers Rob and Kassie Liston, Craig Severn with Adrienne Costin from Autism Queensland .

About 80 trucks, 25 cars and 30 motorbikes took part in the street parade, which did a short circuit through the town before returning to the showground areas for a day of family-focussed entertainment and fundraising. As the head of the convoy returned to the showground access road, the convoy tail was just reaching the start of their run into the town - it was quite a spectacular of sights and sounds. There were many merchandise and trade stalls doing a fair trade with the hundreds of people who had not come just with the trucks, cars and bikes, but who had come along to support the event.

There were plenty of activities for the children and the food and drink stalls were doing a roaring trade under the clear blue sky of a warming late south-east Queensland winter's day.

Woven in between live music sets that had the crowd up and dancing and rocking along, auctioneer Doug Ross did a great job of auctioning off the incredible array of donated goods.

The items ranged from tyres to gift packs, holidays, dinners, gift vouchers and just about everything in between, with the proceeds going a long way towards the day's impressive fundraising target.

Autism: Always Unique, Totally Interesting, Sometimes Mysterious.

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