Prime Mover Magazine

Transport industry acknowledges excellence in 30th anniversary awards celebration

A crowd of close to 700 guests from the Victorian transport industry gathered together on Saturday night at Crown Palladium Ballroom for the Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIAs).

Hosted by Livinia Nixon, the black tie gala event, the 30th anniversary of the ceremony since it commenced in 1989,  honoured transport operators and suppliers across the road transport industry in Victoria.

Chas Kelly, Managing Director Chas Kelly Transport was awarded the Personality of the Year.

The Sustainable Environment Award went to Alex Fraser Group while Visa Global Logistics was honoured with the Application of Technology Award.

Other winners included Clare Cianchino, Swire Mining Logistics, who received the Female Leadership Award and Ivan Vanis, Tasman Logistics Services, who claimed the Young Achiever of the Year.

Packaged Dangerous Goods were recognised with the Best Practice Safety Award and K&S Corporation won the award for Investment in People.

Former VTA Executive Director Phil Lovel, an instrumental figure in the awards concept and execution for its first 28 years, formally welcomed guests with a short speech in which he reflected on the history of the event.

“Thirty years ago, our Prime Minister was Bob Hawke. Australia had just come through a national pilot strike. There was no internet. There were no mobile phones. Boy, were we primitive, but we did create the Australian Freight Industry Awards," he said.

“We wanted to lift the profile and professionalism of the transport industry, and we did. From the World Trade Centre, to Jeff’s Shed to the new Convention centre, and now Crown Casino, we have moved forward," said Lovel.

“To this day there is no other Industry function like this, and congratulations to the VTA for building on this great tradition.”

VTA President Cameron Dunn and the Hon Melissa Horne, Victorian Minister for Ports, Freight and Public Transport, were on hand to represent the Victorian Government and Transport for Victoria.

VTA CEO Peter Anderson served as master of ceremonies.

“For 30 years, the Australian Freight Industry Awards have showcased the outstanding achievements of the Australian freight and logistics industry. This year is certainly no exception with dozens of high-quality applications received across the various categories, which is further evidence of our industry’s ongoing committed to best practice,” he said in a statement.

“Every one of our winners and finalists should be proud of their accomplishments, which go a long way towards attaining the original vision of the awards in lifting the profile and professionalism of our great industry.”

Addressing members and guests, VTA President Cameron Dunn reflected on some of the key achievements of the VTA over a busy 12 months.

“It has been my great privilege to work with the VTA Secretariat and Executive Council on a range of exciting initiatives that will benefit our members and our industry, at a time of considerable change," he said.

“We’re working hard to address driver shortages that are putting pressure on operators, which is why we were so thrilled that the Victorian Government is making further investments in the VTA Driver Delivery program and attracting new people to our industry," said Dunn.

The VTA has also been instrumental in the review of the Heavy Vehicle Driver Licensing system where we see a great opportunity for reforms that will encourage greater participation rates from potential drivers.

“These are just a small handful of the achievements the Association has made working for members and industry so far this year. Congratulations to the VTA Secretariat for these and many other great achievements,” Dunn said.

Following the presentation of awards, guests were treated to performances from tribute band Queen Forever, dance troupe LFK Industry Squad and the Sam Ludeman Band.

(VTA CEO Peter Anderson, Victorian Minister for Ports, Freight and Public Transport Melissa Horne, Chas Kelly, VTA President Cameron Dunn).

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