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Celebrating the trucking industry's finest

08 April 2019

The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry and announced the award winners in Perth last Friday at the Trucking Australia 2019 Foundation Sponsors Awards Gala Dinner. 

“The Gala Dinner and National Trucking Industry Awards are not only a highlight of the Trucking Australia conference, but the whole year,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said today. 

“These prestigious awards recognise those who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the Australian trucking industry through their hard work and commitment. 

“It’s important to celebrate those who go the extra mile and inspire others,” he said. 

The 2019 National Trucking Industry Award winners are: 

- Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry – Leigh Smart

- National Professional Driver of the Year – Bernard Forssman

- National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year – Coralie Chapman

- National Training Excellence Award – Australian Furniture Removers Association

- TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award – Nolan’s Interstate Transport. 

“This year we received an unprecedented number of award nominations, highlighting the high standard and calibre of those who represent the Australian trucking industry,” Mr Crouch said. 

“Our award recipients were extremely well-deserving, and I thank each winner for their contribution. 

“I would also like to extend thanks to our award judging panel, led by former ATA Chair Trevor Martyn OAM,” he said. 

Winner details attached and photographs available here



Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry

Award sponsor: BP, National Transport Insurance, Volvo Trucks 

Leigh Smart, Formula Chemicals

Leigh Smart is director of Formula Chemicals, well-known for his positive approach and enthusiasm. Leigh founded the company in 1973 and was the only employee. Now the business has expanded across four factories and employs more than 40 staff. 

Dedicated to safety, Leigh is a mentor in the WorkCover ‘Safe Business is Good Business’ program and was an accredited WorkCover consultant for 15 years. 

Leigh is a generous contributor to the trucking industry, involved in the ATA Truckweek events in 2014 and 2016. Leigh has been a passionate industry representative and advocate for many years, particularly in the road transport of dangerous goods.  

National Professional Driver of the Year

Award Sponsors: BP Australia, National Transport Insurance, Volvo Trucks 

Bernard Forssman, AFD / Directhaul

Bernard has driven for AFD/Directhaul for 25 years and been a part of the industry for more than 45 years. Bernard carts aviation fuel along the Stuart Highway and has driven more than 10 million kilometres incident-free. 

Bernard is a quiet achiever who takes great pride in his work, strives to keep his equipment in pristine condition, and is respected by his peers for his professionalism and reliability.   

National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year

Award sponsor: Cummins South Pacific 

Coralie Chapman, Linfox

Coralie Chapman is Transport Scheduler at Linfox Australia and has worked in road transport for more than 19 years. Coralie has been on the Transport Women Australia board since 2016, was made secretary in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2018 National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year award. 

Coralie was a participant in the 2018 Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum, where she developed a project to expand the media strategies of stakeholders to raise awareness of safety and the image of the industry.   

National Training Excellence Award

Award Sponsor: Sutton Road Training Centre – TISC  

Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA)

AFRA was founded in 1993 as the official body of removals experts that helps regulate the removals industry. More than 350 companies across the country are AFRA members and all are educated by qualified trainers to the AFRA professional standards. 

In updating the current training offered, AFRA have developed a new initiative moving towards its own Learning Management System. This includes training courses on insurance, chain of responsibility, workplace health and safety, and industrial relations. The association has also moved towards online training and traineeships to create career paths, retain staff and make training more accessible to all members.  

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award

Award Sponsor: AEI Transport Insurance Brokers 

Nolan’s Interstate Transport

Nolan’s Interstate Transport began its operations in the early 1900s. Owned and operated by Robert Hawck, the company used horse-drawn carts to transport such products as cream, wood and milk across the Lockyer Valley Region. Over the years, the company has been passed down through the family. 

Daphne and the late Terry Nolan acquired the business in the 1970s and shared the ATA’s Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry Award in 2011. 

Now one of the largest family-owned and operated transport businesses in Queensland, Nolan’s Transport operates approximately 100 trucks and employs more than 250 staff. 

A member of TruckSafe since 1996, Nolan’s Transport has a strong safety culture and has won awards for Excellence in Road Transport and Workcover Best Practice.