Associations pay tribute to late industry leaders

Forsyth and Marriott remembered for contributions to industry

Associations pay tribute to late industry leaders
ATA founding members Peter Rocke, Andrew Higginson, Denis Robertson and Don Forsyth


Industry is mourning the recent loss of Australian Trucking Association (ATA) co-founder Don Forsyth and former Heavy Vehicle Industry Association (HVIA) director Derek Marriott.

Forsyth was head of the National Transport Federation (NTF) before founding the ATA, taking part in the 1991 ‘Forum on the Road’ tour to introduce the association to industry members Australia-wide.

"The passing of Don Forsyth is a huge loss for the ATA and wider trucking industry," ATA chair Geoff Crouch says.

"Don was well known for his insightful contributions and advocacy for the trucking industry, with his tenacity and passion playing a key role in the establishment of the ATA."    

Forsyth’s company, FH Transport, was also a keen supporter of the ATA’s TruckSafe accreditation scheme from its early stages, Crouch notes.

"When the original TruckSafe medicals were done on Don’s drivers, one of them was diagnosed with a heart complaint, which would have gone undetected otherwise.

"Don saw the scheme’s benefits and was very proactive spreading the message to others.

"He likened it to rugby league: if you played in the NRL at the top level, you made good money, and if you played in the lower grades, you didn’t get much, so if you wanted to win good business in the trucking industry, you had to make sure your performance was up to scratch."  

Former TruckSafe chair Michael Coper passed away earlier this year

Fellow ATA co-founder and former chair Denis Robertson says Forsyth will be remembered for his upbeat personality and dedication to the industry.

"Like us all at the time, in the early days we were all running our own businesses and spending months away from home.

"Don was always in high spirits, happy, jovial and enjoying a joke.

"Don was instrumental in organising one of our largest industry meetings in Brisbane in the early 1990s and was extremely hospitable, putting us all up at his own house while we were there."

Forsyth was honoured with a Decade of Dedication Award at the ATA’s 10th anniversary grand dinner in 1999.

"On behalf of the ATA and trucking industry I extend my condolences and deepest sympathy to Don’s family and his children, Lex, Katherine, Libby and Sarah," Crouch says.



Marriott was a board director at the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland (CVIAQ) from 2005 to 2014, before its transition to the national industry body, HVIA.

Marriott was alos part of the board decision making team during the period in 2010/11 when the Brisbane Truck Show relocated from the RNA Showgrounds – where it was held for 30 years – to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, HVIA notes.  

"During his time in the industry, Derek became very passionate about apprenticeships and training, supporting the association’s Schools to Industry Tour program on many occasions and contributing to CVIAQ’s training video developed to encourage school leavers into the industry," the association says.

"Derek was a regular participant at Service Managers Council meetings and was a frequent volunteer, supervising the Apprentice Challenge competition run at the Brisbane Truck Show."

Marriott was also service manager at Cummins South Pacific in Brisbane for 25 years before taking up the service manager role at Daimler Trucks Brisbane.

More recently, Marriott was the service manager at Iveco Trucks Brisbane prior to retiring from the industry.

"In 2015, Derek was instrumental in obtaining a second-hand Iveco Eurocargo truck that, later, was to be donated to Glenala State High School as a learning resource in their Trade Skills Centre."


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