HONOUR: Darren Nolan accepts the TruckSafe John Kelly Award on behalf of his team.
HONOUR: Darren Nolan accepts the TruckSafe John Kelly Award on behalf of his team. James Graham

Tribute to the industry icons

A HUMBLED Nolan's Transport director Darren Nolan paid tribute to two late industry legends in accepting the prestigious TruckSafe John Kelly Award in Perth.

Mr Nolan said without the initial help of Craig Roseneder and his father Terry Nolan 23 years earlier to kick-start the program, he wouldn't be receiving the honour on behalf of the Gatton-based fleet.

"Craig was instrumental in implementing this program and to be honest changed the way our business looked at maintenance and driver health,” Mr Nolan said.

"Also, there was definitely some heavy persuasion from my late father Terry Nolan.

"I remember fondly my dad's statement to us when he called us into the office to talk about what was in those days was Team 200.

"One of his favourite lines was, 'we need to get professional, or get out'.

"Our father took great pride in the fleet along with the people working with him and he could see there was a change happening in this industry, and to be honest without his no bullshit, and at times politically incorrect approach, Nolan's would not be the company we are today.

"My brother and I are forever grateful for his legacy and that we get to honour what he set out to achieve.”

Coralie Chapman, transport scheduler at Linfox and a Transport Women Australia board member since 2016, also paid tribute to a mentor in her acceptance speech for the Woman of the Year prize.

"I started my career nearly 20 years ago knowing nothing, and it was the passion of one man [Mick Best] that sucked me in and since then I have worked in the most amazing industry with the most amazing people,” said Ms Chapman, who wins a trip to the US to visit the Cummins factory.

"And I am so grateful for that and feel extremely honoured for being recognised for something that I love to do.”

National Professional Driver of the Year Bernard Forssman, from Directhaul, also thanked his past and present employers, and the mentor who got his long and distinguished career started in the early 1970s.

Mr Forssman carts aviation fuel along the Stuart Highway and has driven more than 10 million kilometres incident-free.

NSW dangerous good specialist Leigh Smart, CEO of Formula Chemicals, almost missed his moment in the spotlight for winning Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry; he was seconds away from sneaking out the door to catch a flight.

"I've had a fantastic journey through my life,” said Mr Smart, who won $5000 and a hosted trip to the ATA's conference next year in Cairns.

"I can't really want for anything else. If I fell off the stage tomorrow I think I've done some wonderful things. This is just a culmination tonight and I thank my crew at work because we all work hard to make sure our drivers come home safe every day.”

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