ATA Announces 2016 Award Winners

Photography by: Marcel Voestermans

Top gongs taken out by McMillan, Smith, Felton, Taylor, Fellows, and APT

ATA-Award -Winners ,-2016,-Owner Driver

Left to right: Bryan Smith, Doug McMillan, Nigel Felton, Belinda Polglase (APT), Melissa Taylor, Jenny Fellows, Paul Fellows.


The Australian Trucking Association has announced the winners of six of its major awards for 2016.

The plaudits were presented at the ATA Foundation Sponsors 25th anniversary awards dinner on the Gold Coast on the weekend, as part of Trucking Australia 2016.

Collecting their accolades were Doug McMillan; Bryan Smith; Melissa Taylor; Nigel Felton and his employer APT; and Paul and Jenny Fellows.

Don Watson Memorial Award for conspicuous achievement in furthering the industry’s objectives: Doug McMillan, Wodonga, Victoria.

McMillan bought his first truck with wife, Pam, in 1974, and became involved in industry associations in 1986. He was a director of the Road Transport Forum and then the ATA until June this year, and is a former president of NatRoad.

The ATA says that among his many achievements, McMillan led the campaign against an external Hume Highway bypass of Albury, in favour of a four lane freeway through the city and the building of the Spirit of Progress bridge across the Murray River.

"I am really pleased, and I am just proud," said McMillan in receiving his award.


Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry: Bryan Smith, Rocky's Own Transport, Rockhampton, Queensland.

The ATA says that under CEO Smith’s leadership, Rocky’s Own has been involved in a wide range of safety initiatives, including piloting the fatigue management standards that went on to become Advanced Fatigue Management; implementing satellite tracking; and developing an integrated mapping system to plan safer routes.

Smith also introduced an employee profit sharing scheme, company health scheme and a quit smoking initiative.

Following a long career in the meat industry, Smith joined Rocky’s Own Transport as a sales manager in 1996, and became CEO in 2005.


National Professional Driver of the Year: Nigel Felton, All Purpose Transport, Brisbane.

Felton started as an owner-driver in 1999 and first contracted to All Purpose Transport in 2003. He was one of the first drivers to complete his Certificate III in Driving Operations with APT. He is now an in-house driver trainer for the company.

"Trucking is in our blood," said Felton. "This is an industry that is vital. If we don’t truck, Australia stops."


National Training Excellence Award: All Purpose Transport, Brisbane.

The ATA says that in 2012, Felton’s employer APT realised that with an average driver age of 47, it needed to develop a pipeline for attracting and developing future workers.

All APT owner-drivers and employees have the opportunity to obtain formal qualifications – Certificate III or above – with more than 250 people taking part in this training to date.


Trucking Industry Woman of the Year: Melissa Taylor, Taylor's Removals and Storage, Toowoomba, Queensland.

After a career in retail management, Taylor became the first woman in four generations to join the family business, Taylor’s.

She says she doesn’t want trucking to be "an industry that we just fall into because we’ve been born into it, or because there may not have been another option, but it’s been chosen because that’s where we want to be".

Amongst other things Taylor has participated in the "GenR8" youth engagement program and the "Count me in" program which highlights career opportunities for local women.


TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for excellence in the TruckSafe program: Fellows Bulk Transport, Deniliquin, NSW.

Fellows Bulk Transport has been operated by Paul and Jenny Fellows since 1997. The company has grown from a single vehicle to a fleet of thirteen trucks with operations in all eastern states, moving some 300,000 tonnes of product each year.

Paul Fellows says FBT’s greatest asset is its team of dedicated staff, and reminisced that as a kid he used to sit in the classroom and watch the trucks going up and down the Pacific Highway.

The National Trucking Industry Awards are sponsored by ATA foundation sponsors BP, NTI and Volvo Group; Cummins; Austbrokers AEI Transport; DECA Training; Bridgestone and Castrol.



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