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Trucking's future leaders announced

07 November 2019

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific have today announced the participants in the 2020 Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum. 

The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, we are committed to safety, professionalism and viability. 

“The 2018 and 2019 forums were incredibly successful, and we are once again thrilled to welcome the next generation of Australia’s trucking leaders to take part in this career-defining program,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said.   

The 2020 Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders Forum welcomes representatives from Daimler Truck and Bus, ATA member associations and the ATA’s safety accreditation scheme TruckSafe. 

“Our 2020 Future Leaders come from a range of backgrounds and roles within the industry including drivers, directors, and compliance and risk managers,” Mr Crouch said. 

“I am confident our 2020 Future Leaders have the passion and expertise to make a positive change,” he said. 

The first stage of the 2020 forum will be held in Canberra on 25-26 November 2019, where participants will develop their potential as future leaders of the trucking industry, with mentorship from experts in leadership, media and political training. 

As well as participating in intensive workshops whilst in Canberra, the 2020 Future Leaders will each complete a take-home leadership project on a key industry issue, which will be presented at Trucking Australia 2020, held in Cairns from 1-3 April. 

Daimler Truck and Bus Australia President and CEO Daniel Whitehead welcomed the 2020 cohort of Daimler Future Leaders and said he looks forward to another successful forum. 

“We are excited to see such a strong group of participants announced for the Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum,” he said. 

“Daimler Truck and Bus is committed to supporting the development of the next generation of leaders in the transport industry, to ensure our best and brightest can help the sector excel in a rapidly-changing world,” Mr Whitehead said.


Matt Henderson

Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association 

Matt is Managing Director at MDH Transport, based in Western Australia. Passionate about the trucking industry, Matt has been a committee member of the LRTAWA for three years and was recently elected to the role of Vice President. Matt’s leadership project focuses on recruiting and retaining staff and creating pathways for young people to become involved in the transport industry. His project aims to increase the level of skilled operators and positively impact the current aging workforce.  

Maddie Frayne

Daimler Truck and Bus 

Maddie is Marketing Manager at Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus, based in Victoria. Maddie’s leadership project proposes to explore how the trucking industry and its stakeholders are supporting small operators to achieve greater business efficiency, as well as identifying how to remove barriers that stand in the way of these operators adopting new technologies. Maddie’s key project outcome is to increase operators’ profitability and productivity.  

Kent Single


Kent is Managing Director of family business, Single Transport, in Queensland. Kent is responsible for rewriting policies and procedures, the company’s TruckSafe audits and basic fatigue management while also driving full-time. Kent’s leadership project centres on small businesses and industry image, with focus on succession planning, protecting assets outside the business and interaction with heavy vehicles and the general public. 


Jared Swart

NT Road Transport Association 

Jared is a Site Engineer at Sitzler Pty Ltd based in Darwin, Northern Territory. Having grown up surrounded by all aspects of his family’s road transport operations, Jared is keen to explore recruiting and retaining young workers, and better understand the barriers experienced by both employers and prospective employees. Jared’s leadership project will look at developing a series of fact sheets for employers and young job seekers that are designed to ‘bust myths’ and identify career pathways for long term job opportunities in the trucking industry.  

Raphael Toerkel

Queensland Trucking Association 

Raphael is Fleet Manager of IKEA Operations at All Purpose Transport in Queensland. Raphael started work with All Purpose Transport as a casual during high school, before undertaking full time work while completing a Bachelor of Business Administration. Raphael’s leadership project explores technological change and innovation in the industry with a particular focus on electrical vehicles including compliance, registration, training and maintenance.   


Rob Vozzo

Road Freight NSW 

Rob is Operations Manager at JJ Lawson in NSW. Rob’s leadership project centres on strategy development for young driver recruitment and retention in response to industry demand for skilled workers. Rob’s project explores employee attraction, development and retention in 2020 and beyond, with a focus on refreshing industry image and embracing technology to attract the younger workforce. 


Vanessa Maclean

Transafe WA 

Vanessa is accountant of MGM Bulk with the MGM Group, based in Eaton, Western Australia. Vanessa’s leadership project will explore the development of an apprenticeship scheme to ensure the sustainability of the transport industry through driver training. Vanessa’s project aims to create a formal program based on the apprenticeship framework that provides benefits and opportunities to both potential trainees and businesses. Vanessa’s project also aims to improve industry image by making Australia’s roads safer and increasing safety within the driving profession.   


Sarah Simpson


Sarah is Risk and Administration Manager at I & M Simpson & Son, a third-generation family business based in Alexandra, Victoria. Sarah’s leadership project focuses on business operations and management, as well as technological change and innovation in the industry. Sarah’s project is to build and implement a digital management program that enables staff to recognise and control safety and business risks. Sarah also plans to develop a system to capture and analyse industry-wide incident and near-miss reporting data to benefit small businesses and sole trucking operators through shared learning. 


Justin King

Tasmanian Transport Association 

Justin is WH&S, HR and Compliance Manager at Monson Logistics in Miandetta, Tasmania. Justin’s leadership project will explore recruiting and retaining staff, working with industry groups to develop a program of events that will support attraction, recruitment, development and retention of young people in roles across the industry. Justin’s project will include profiling young people to understand what will attract them to the industry, while developing strategies and material to encourage young people to enter the industry’s workforce. 


Matthew Finemore

Victorian Transport Association 

Matthew is Customer Performance Analyst at Ron Finemore Transport. Matthew’s leadership project will analyse the costs of extended payment terms within the transport supply chain, following legislation introduced by the Victorian Government in May 2019 requiring 30-day payment terms for trucking operators. Through simulated modelling, Matthew intends to illustrate the consequences of extended payment terms under various revenue and payment term structures for multiple size firms. 


Rick Lockwood

Western Roads Federation 

Rick is General Manager of KTrans, based in Kewdale, Western Australia. Exploring opportunities to recruit and retain staff, Rick’s leadership project will focus on promoting the trucking industry to existing veterans and current personnel seeking to leave the Australian Defence Force. Rick is a strong believer in promoting the industry to Defence and veterans as an industry that welcomes the broad range of skills Defence personnel acquire through their service.