Gala Dinner honour, glamour and connection

HVIA’s long-awaited return to hosting an annual gala dinner lived up to hopes and expectations and then some.

HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking told the full house at the Emporium Hotel South Brisbane that the number of guests from interstate was the most of any HVIA dinner to date.

He said it was a great opportunity for the heavy vehicle industry to come together in unity.

The award judges were recognised for the generous volunteering of their time and expertise

“Tonight is about you – our members – it is an opportunity to celebrate your achievements, your innovations, your commitment to community, your focus on safety both within your workplaces and in terms of the equipment and technology you supply,” Mr Hacking said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to continue to reflect on the importance of our industry and the work that you do each day. 

“This is not just about getting up and going to work each day, it is about ensuring that freight continues to be delivered – we use that term – freight – flippantly in my opinion. 

“It is important on nights like these to remember that it is not just a seven-letter word; it’s food, it’s sanitization, it’s essential fuels, it’s equipment for our hospitals, parts for our machines, the construction materials that build roads, schools, and our shelter – literally the clothes on our backs and whether your role is making a truck or a trailer, selling it, repairing it, making a component or piece of technology to make the task safer or more efficient, we all in this room play a vital role. 

“I’m so proud to be a small part of this industry as it is indeed the central nervous system for the entire economy.

“I want to say at the top of the night that tonight’s awards are not just about winning – although – that is always nice, it is about sharing your commitment to your task and to your people that is important. 

“It is about investing in the business and taking pride in your achievements. 

“You are all celebrated because you are all demonstrating through actions, what it means to be an effective, responsible participant in an effective, responsible industry.”

Mr Hacking acknowledged special guests including

  • Mark Bailey MP, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure in Qld.
  • Qld State Transport Shadow Minister – Steve Minnikin MP, Member for Chatsworth
  • Former Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Member for Wright, Hon Scott Buchholz MP
  • Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, representatives of the Queensland Trucking Association and the award judges.

He also acknowledged HVIA Principal Partners NTI and Truck Assist, Wurth Australia represented by their CEO Serge Oppedisano, Supporting Partners AMPOL, EnergyAustralia, Chamberlains Lawyers, Morris Finance and Royans, and Event Partners Bailey Print Group, Moreton Hire and TAFE Qld.

Guests were introduced to Sunny, the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show mascot

Finalists from HVIA’s Eastern Region were acknowledged with certificates and gifts presented by dignitaries before the five main awards were presented post-dinner

Ken Cowell and Max Winkless were honoured with HVIA Industry Recognition awards, and SGESCO-MAX was presented with an award for fifty years of continuous membership.

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