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Gun driver Connors headlines Tasmanian transport awards

Tasmanian Transport Association recognises industry achievers at gala night


The Tasmanian Transport Association (TTA) recently held its industry awards, which recognised outstanding achievements in Tasmanian transport over the past year.

The event also saw deputy premier and infrastructure minister Jeremy Rockliff contribute a $22,000 grant towards a heavy vehicle rest area strategy for Tasmania, acknowledging the importance of truck drivers and the transport sector to the Tasmanian economy.

The award winners on the night included:

  • NTI 2018 Professional Driver of the Year Award: Kerri Connors
  • NTI Award for Most Valued Contribution to the Transport Industry: Brett Charlton
  • The Gallagher Insurance 2018 Transport Industry Young Achiever Award: Seton Broomhall
  • BPW Transpec 2018 Transport Industry Apprentice of the Year: Adam Smith
  • TRANZnet Trainer of the Year: Paul Baxter
  • TTA Life Member: Robin Phillips

Connors, of Caltas, notably competed in the Australian round of the 2017 Volvo Fuel Challenge, claiming the title of Australia’s most fuel-efficient driver. Connors went on to compete in the global challenge in Gothernburg, where she was the only woman on the world stage.

“Kerri represented drivers and Tasmania with pride, recording a near perfect run on the course and finishing an overall third in the world. She has been active in promoting the professional status of drivers and diversity and is an outstanding ambassador for our industry,” National Transport Insurance (NTI) business development manager Shane Fairhall says. 

“Kerri’s career as a professional driver spans 20 years and several states. Her work experience includes driving roles within the Australian Army, Toll, Linfox, Chas Kelly and her employer of the past 10 years, Caltas, where she drives a Volvo FM500 fuel tanker on full time rotating shift roster.”   

Read our feature on Kerri Connors after Volvo Trucks’ global Fuelwatch Challenge here

Charlton, of Agility Logistics, and chairman of the Tasmanian Freight Logistics Committee, has represented Tasmania on international trade missions in Asia and is a board member of the Australian China Business Council. He was distinguished with the valued contributor award.

“This is recognition of the impact Brett has had, often working behind the scenes, to ensure Tasmania is considered federally in such decisions around the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme and coastal shipping reform, for the benefit of all sectors of the industry and the Tasmanian economy,” Fairhall says.  

Twenty-year-old young industry achiever Broomhall was recognised for completing a panel-beating apprenticeship with Brianna Tilt Trays and Towing, and driving the company’s NTI Accident Assist tow truck. CJD Equipment’s Smith was crowned top apprentice, while trainer of the year Baxter heads Baxter’s Training Australia. The event also paid tribute to the career of new TTA life member Phillips, who was a past executive director of the association.

Fonterra Farm Milk Cartage Tasmania was also recognised for developing a program designed to increase diversity and create a strong succession plan for farm milk cartage tanker driving roles within its business.

TTA chairman John de Bruyn lauded the accolade recipients on the night.

“We congratulate those businesses and individuals who received awards for their outstanding contribution and commitment to the Tasmanian transport industry,” de Bruyn says.


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