Australia, Transport Industry News

ATA officially welcomes new chair


Following the announcement of the departure of outgoing chair David Smith in April, new Australia Trucking Association (ATA) chair Mark Parry has officially begun his term as of May 1.

Parry is the managing director of Ron Finemore Transport and is also the deputy chair of Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds. He moves into the role with experience across manufacturing, mining, mining services, contracting, and transport and logistics.

“Trucking plays a very important role in supplying our daily needs. The ATA has a broad membership base and seeks to represent the industry to a wide range of stakeholders,” Parry says.

“I look forward to seeking to help improve the safety, sustainability and the ongoing viability of our industry for those involved in it.”

There have also been a number of changes to the board, with Australia Post executive James Dixon elected as a member.

“In particular, we need to press on with the outstanding work of the ATA and industry on improving safety and compliance,” he says.

“A safer industry will assist in attracting future talent and the professional drivers the industry needs.”

New ATA director James Dixon. (Image: ATA/Supplied)

Three directors have also retired from the board: Noelene Watson, Geoff Crouch and Austin Vella. Watson became a member of the board in 2004 and was its chair from 2014 to 2017.

“I want to express my gratitude to the ATA’s board and council for the opportunity for growth and development that I have had during my tenure with the ATA,” she says.

“The guidance and support of directors and councillors have played a crucial role in my professional journey, and I am thankful for the trust the council placed in me by electing me as chair.”

Crouch became a member of the ATA board in 2013 and acted as the chair from 2017 to 2020. He is also a former president of ATA member association NatRoad.

“It was an extraordinary and humbling honour to be elected as Chair of the ATA in 2017; it was a privilege to be able to play a part in supporting Australia’s great trucking industry,” Crouch says.

“It would not have been possible, though, without the support of the ATA’s CEO at the time, Ben Maguire, chief of staff Bill McKinley and the entire secretariat, who collectively provided tremendous and invaluable support and guidance.”

Vella has acted as a member of the board since 2014 and was elected as vice chair in 2017.

“It’s been an absolute honour to work alongside so many leaders in our industry,” he says.

“As a director of the ATA and in my ongoing role as chair of Road Freight NSW, I have had the opportunity to meet with other operators, regulators and our political leaders as we worked together for the good of the industry and the community.”

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