Meet the 2021 Peter Langworthy Future Award nominees

In honour of HVIA Past President and industry leader Peter Langworthy, the Future Leader Award is in recognition of Peter’s long-standing commitment to the mentoring of young people and supporting their development to leadership roles.

The award acknowledges young people who have recently graduated from an apprenticeship and/or who have demonstrated outstanding leadership within their organisation or the industry. 

The 2020 award was presented to John Jackson from Brimarco, pictured above receiving the award from Peter’s daughter Katherine Langworthy during the hybrid HVIA Awards ceremony.

The 2021 regional and national winners will be announced at the HVIA Gala Awards Breakfast in Brisbane on Friday 19th November 2021.

Read all about this year’s nominees below.

Matthew Longridge


Prior to joining MaxiTRANS, Matt worked as a plumber for 7 years and was considering starting his own business. However, before he did that, he decided he needed a change for a year.

Matt went to MaxiTRANS’ manufacturing facility in Ballarat Victoria, initially as a labourer and continued for 6 to 8 months before he was offered a lead role building Maxi-CUBE refrigerated trailers.

He then went into a supervisors role in the same line and also spent 6 months in our warehouse ensuring the seamless supply of parts to the factory floor.

More recently, Matt was offered the opportunity as Production Manager at our newly opened manufacturing facility in Carole Park, Queensland where he has excelled as a leader within our business.

Matt has been pivotal in bringing together a growing and passionate team to produce Australian made bulk tipper brands including Lusty EMS, Hamelex White and AZMEB.

Matt sees himself progressing through the industry into higher roles.

“I have been lucky to have some great mentors at MaxiTRANS such as Trevor Lyons, Brad Givvens, Geoff Dewar and Jason Shankland, and would like to be able to have the same versatility as them,” Matt said.

Jason Cooper

Brown and Hurley Coffs Harbour

Jason’s mentors praise his communication skills with both staff and customers. “His skillsets are the best I seen in years,” they told us.

In 2020 Jason came 3rd in the PACCAR’s Technician of the Year awards, then returned in 2021 came 1st place.

I recently prompted him to leading hand in the workshop.

Jason took full advantage opportunity presented when the Assistant Service Manager took long service leave.

“He handled the pressure of multi-tasking customer & staff; I was able to leave him on his own to look after the the service department for short periods of time while traveled to my other branch in Tamworth.

“He runs my night shift where he has approximately eight techs to delegates jobs and manages the service department very rarely needs to contact me regarding issues with customers or staff.

Jason intends to progress his career within the Brown and Hurley Coffs Harbour team.

“I would eventually like to run the service department and manage the service team, possibly even run a branch later in my career,” he said.

“I am always inspired by the founders and leaders of the Brown and Hurley group, how they grew the business from a small workshop in Kyogle to the large truck, trailer and agriculture business it is today.”

Shehan Weerasinghe


Shehan’s enthusiasm and passion for the automotive industry lead him to commence an apprenticeship at Whitehorse Truck and Bus July 2015 at 18 years old.

From the commencement of his career with the group he has shown leadership instincts, being one of the first students to take on the pilot Fuso training program.

“Shehan does not need a job title or to be asked twice to assist his team members,” his montor told us.

“He has passed on all his knowledge to his fellow and up-and-coming technicians.”

Shehan has impressive ambitions within the Whitehorse group.

“In the next five years I believe I can be one of the most experienced Fuso Technicians Nationwide,” Shehan said.

“The current training I am enrolled in should be a major assistance in making this come true.”

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