Nominate Now Urges 2023 HVIA Award Winner

Brayden Conaghan says he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend taking the time to nominate for Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia’s 2024 National Awards – the only awards program specifically celebrating the achievements of Australia’s heavy vehicle industry.

A Brisbane-based field technician with Penske Australia, the young gun was named Apprentice of the Year in last year’s awards at a gala dinner attended by more than 200 people at the home of the Brisbane Truck Show, the world-class Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“It’s a great opportunity for networking and meeting other key people in the industry. You have nothing to lose by nominating for the awards,” he says six months on from taking out the gong sponsored by Wurth Australia.

And he adds: “The ability to put the award on my resume is a great thing, although I’m not looking for another job anytime soon! My LinkedIn also gets a lot more visits which is great for networking.”

An added benefit of participating, he says, was recognition of his enormous achievements both internally within his organisation as well as personally.

Brayden and Brown & Hurley’s Lachlan Tate won the 2023 Apprentice Challenge held at the Brisbane Truck Show

For such a young man he’s racked up an impressive resume already. Lauded for his passion, teamwork, technical aptitude and communication skills, not only did Brayden challenge himself in completing his apprenticeship ahead of schedule, but he also tested himself in obtaining his recreational pilot’s licence at the same time. Quite the achievement!

Moreover, his unique skills set became clear at the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show when he and Lachlan Tate from Brown & Hurley won the National Apprentice Challenge in record time and being the only team ever to find the mystery fault.

“It was cool to see my work over the previous three-and-a-half years be recognised internally and externally. It means a lot that someone within the company thought I was worthy of a nomination,” he says.

Given the huge benefits, Brayden is adamant that the relatively small amount of time invested in his nomination was well worth it. And many hands make light work of the process, he adds.

“Before submitting the nomination, my service manager, supervisor and branch administrator got together to go over what was required in the application,” he recalls.

Brayden says it meant a lot that someone within the company thought he was worthy of a nomination

“I wrote the section required from the apprentice and the others collectively wrote the remaining sections. After these were all written and edited, we finalised the application and sent it off.

“Simple as that!”

So, what are you waiting for? Nominations are now open for the 2024 HVIA National Awards.

This year’s awards comprise six categories, all of which include substantial prizes for the first time, in addition to the honour and prestigious trophies.

Three new awards – Apprentice Technician of the Year, Apprentice Trailer & Body Builder of the Year and Heavy Vehicle Apprentice of the Year – replace and expand on the historic National Apprentice of the Year award.

Brayden and Lachlan enjoying their Apprentice Challenge prize of a hosted VIP Supercars experience

Each apprentice category award winner will receive a hosted VIP Supercars experience thanks to NTI and TruckAssist, HVIA’s Principal Partner and the HVIA National Awards Major Sponsor.

What’s more, winners of the Product Innovation Award, sponsored by Wurth, and the Safety Innovation Award, sponsored by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, will each receive an advertising and editorial package valued at more than $7,000 in the 2025 Brisbane Truck Show Official Program.

HVIA will also present a cheque for $2,000 to the initiative that wins the Community Leadership Award, sponsored by Caltex.

Nominations close on Friday, August 2. For more information on each of the award categories – and to nominate – click here.

Winners will be announced at the prestigious 2024 Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia National Awards Gala Dinner to be held on Thursday, December 5 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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