Smiles on drivers' faces is the best bit
HER dedication and passion for getting the All Purpose Transport workplace training program off the ground may have been what led to her being named National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year, but for Queensland's Belinda Polglase, seeing the smiling faces of drivers celebrating their qualifications is what really drives her.
The second-generation operator, whose parents, Trevor and Pam White, founded the business, was recognised at the Australian Trucking Association's Trucking Australia 2018 Industry Awards event in April.
She grew up in the business and has been a part of it in some way, shape or form since she was a little girl.
The training program was started about five years ago, after Belinda came into the business full-time following studying at university, travelling abroad and deciding that working as a travel agent wasn't for her.
"(My parents) never put any pressure on me and when I was on uni holidays, I would always get out and help with deliveries," she said.
"I thought I'd try my career in travel but after a year I realised that wasn't the sort of career I wanted so I left and was at a bit of a loose end, so I thought I'd give the transport thing another go."
Belinda started in customer service and after that was hooked. She made her way up through the ranks, working in various other roles before deciding that working on the training program was for her.
"I like the fact that, especially with the owner-drivers, it's the first qualification they've ever achieved," she said.
"For many of them it's also validation of a role that many have been doing for a long time but have never actually had formal recognition of. So to be able for them to now say 'Hey, I've got a qualification in my job', that's been rewarding.
"It's been nice to see their faces getting their certificate and take it home to show their children as well, so that's been really good."
Belinda said the employees had all been very open to the process.
"It's always enjoyable when you see that, particularly when they you get feedback from a trainer to say yeah, these guys have been great with their service standards. Their load restraint is great.
"I mean, obviously now and again you get the feedback that you have to work on this or that but it's also a good thing.
"It's training, I guess it's giving them guidance on how they can improve and do their job even better. It's been very good for our people."
Belinda told Big Rigs she loved working in the transport industry because of the service aspect. She said she liked being able to problem-solve and find solutions for customers.
"It's not just about getting something from A to B, we're all solutions for their needs, whether it's warehousing or transport," she said.
"It's just knowing at the end of the day we're getting their products safely from A to B and on time."
She said aside from being involved in the training program, she was also very involved in the industry, think tanks and other projects.
"We also employ some long-term unemployed youths and try and give them a job and a career path."
Belinda said she was "surprised and terribly honoured" to be named Woman of the Year.
"It's amazing to be recognised alongside the previous winners," she said.
"The last few have come from Queensland, so to be alongside them was very humbling."
She also highlighted the work of her staff and people she worked alongside.
"I can't do what I do without my team and everyone wanting to go on the same journey," added Belinda.
"I guess one of our main mottos is 'Best people equals best business' and if you've got great people it makes it easier to achieve what we want to achieve."