NatRoad recognises youth and experience

By: Greg Bush

The annual NTI NatRoad Awards acknowledged representatives from three important sectors of the road transport industry

NatRoad recognises youth and experience
2014 NatRoad Award winners (from left): Aaron Busk, Benjamin Sparrow and Laura Kennedy.


The three recipients of this year’s National Transport Insurance (NTI) NatRoad Awards had one thing in common at the NatRoad Awards luncheon on August 15.

All three — Laura Kennedy, Benjamin Sparrow and Aaron Busk — admitted to being surprised and somewhat caught off guard when NatRoad president Geoff Crouch announced their names as winners during the NatRoad Conference on August 15.

Laura Kennedy, the National Training Manager at Toll, was awarded the NTI Transport Youth Award for 2014. Kennedy admitted to being a "little bit embarrassed" where her name was called out.

During the presentation, Crouch explained that the Youth Award recognised an employee of 30 years and under, working in any part of the road transport industry with an enthusiastic and positive approach towards their job.

Kennedy already has 10 years in the road transport industry, starting out at the family business Kennedy Express before moving onto Toll in 2008. She was also praised for her efforts in chairing the NatRoad Youth Committee.

"It’s kind of cool to be able to get this award at my 10th conference."

Sparrow won the NTI Excellence in Operations Support award. Sparrow, a driver trainer and operations assistant at SRV Road Freight Services in south-east Queensland, says he was honoured to be up on stage.

On receiving the trophy, Sparrow thanked his employers Errol and Jane Cosgrove "for giving me the opportunity to get a start in this industry where other people wouldn’t".

After 30 years behind the wheel, Busk was voted the NTI Professional Driver of the Year for 2014.

Despite Busk only being with his current employer Tytec Logistics for two years, Tytec had no hesitation in nominating him for the award.

"I was quite humble just to get nominated in the first place, but for me that was always enough," Busk says. "I was quite surprised to win the thing."

Busk has had a clean slate on the road since 1998.

"I don’t profess to be a saint, but I’m certainly not a compulsive over loader, or compulsively breaking driving hours or anything like that," he says.

"I’m doing a good job and there’s no pressure applied to me to break the law.

"I tend not to work for people who pressure me to break the law," Busk says.

With his win, Aaron Busk is an automatic nominee for the 2015 Australian Trucking Association’s Professional Driver of the Year award.

Meanwhile, Dick Kyle, managing director of Australian Compliance Centres, was presented with the Ted Pickering Memorial Award for Outstanding Involvement in the Road Transport Industry.

This award was announced on August 16, the final night of the conference, during the Cummins and Paccar & Paccar Dealers Gala Dinner where Kyle was acknowledged for his work in the area of supply chain compliance.

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