THE National Road Transport Operators Association recognised the cream of the industry at a special lunch sponsored by National Transport Insurance at its annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove on August 3.
Phillip Southwell, of SRV Roadfreight Services, won the professional driver of the year award.
A driver for the best part of 32 years, Mr Southwell was involved in a family transport and distribution business and then worked as an owner-driver for six years.
He has worked with SRV Roadfreight Services for the past 10 years as a driver and within operations.
In the course of his career Mr Southwell has driven about six million kilometres accident free.
When Big Rigs asked him how he felt about winning the award Mr Southwell said he was "blown away".
"I didn't expect it. I'm totally shocked by it all," he said.
Troy Cook, of Divalls Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage, won the excellence in operational support award in its first year.
The transport manager with Divalls, last year Mr Cook was instrumental in Divalls being crowned TruckSafe operator of the year. A long-time supporter of community causes, including Rotary, a life-changing accident has seen Mr Cook 's community activities increase. He has been sought out by Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney to motivate other spinal injury patients with his positive outlook on life and recovery.
Brett Simcoe, of Lindsay Transport, was awarded the transport youth award in absentia, his trophy received on his behalf by colleague Ken Stehbens.
Mr Simcoe came to Lindsay Transport after serving with the Australian army as a decorated sniper and paratrooper.
He participated in five overseas tours of duty.
Working as a linehaul driver with Lindsay, Mr Simcoe's standards of presentation, capacity and willingness to learn from senior colleagues and goodwill towards his co-workers and drivers from other companies made him a clear choice for this award.