Final Two Nominees For The Rural Transport Rising Star

Final Two Nominees For The Rural Transport Rising Star

With nominations closed and all applications considered, we are down to the final two nominees for the Rural Transport Rising Star Award 2024.

Luke Cannon of Frasers Livestock Transport in Queensland and Padraig Carey of T & M Smyth in New South Wales are the two shortlisted finalists for the award.

Set to be presented at the ALRTA Conference on March 21, 2024 in Toowoomba, QLD, the RTRS recognises the up and coming workers in the rural transport industry.

Nominees had to be recommended by a member of an ALRTA industry association, aged under 35 as of December 31 last year, and work in rural transport in Australia.

The winner will receive support to the value of $5000 to undertake professional development and training to further their transport career. Both shortlisted finalists will receive complimentary registration to the ALRTA Conference and their travel expenses for the event covered.

Before the winner is announced in two weeks time, learn a little bit more about both finalists.

Luke Cannon – Frasers Livestock Transport (QLD)

Finalist Luke Cannon on the job. (Image: Supplied)

28-year-old Luke Cannon works for Frasers Livestock Transport, a family-owned livestock transport business specialising in moving cattle, sheep and pigs. He works in fleet operations and saleyard relations.

Luke’s current role sees him coordinating the day-to-day logistics of the saleyard’s servicing, which can include up to 30 different saleyards weekly. While he says this can be tough to manage, he works alongside Frasers’ operations manager to ensure the smooth operations of the yard.

A career in transport was almost written in the stars for Luke. He’s a third generation truck driver, following in the footsteps of a family well and truly entrenched in rural transport and jumping in the cabin of trucks and working with his family’s livestock from a young age.

Luke has already come a long way behind the wheel – he started off driving a Kenworth T650 in semi combination before moving up to a T659 B Double, B Triple, and even a triple road train.

If he wins the Rural Transport Rising Star Award, Luke says he will put his prize towards continuing to further develop his skills within the industry t0 become better educated and skilled within the supply chain logistics sector. He’s eyeing off a big future with Frasers, hoping to eventually become the company’s operations manager.

Padraig Carey – T & M Smyth Transport (NSW)

Finalist Paddy Carey with his trusty Kenworth 402. (Image: Supplied)

21-year-old Padraig (or ‘Paddy’) Carey works as a HC driver for T & M Smyth Transport, a stock carting business in Wagga Wagga, driving a Kenworth 402 towing a 2*1 45″ Byrne trailer.

A farm boy at heart, Paddy is at home carting livestock to and from the Wagga saleyards, with the occasional longer journey, and is the designated drover on sale days. It’s a job that suits him perfectly, having grown up around animals on his family’s farm.

Throughout his youth, Paddy says he was always fascinated by trucks and couldn’t wait until he was old enough to get behind the wheel of one. He joined Tim Smyth in the cab for the first time on a job when he was 14 and knew that working in livestock transport was going to be his career path.

Paddy got his medium rigid licence as early as he was able to, and started working for T & M Smyth from there. He recently upgraded his licence in January.

While he says that moving livestock can be frustrating at times – particularly with plenty of stubborn animals – he’s learned that patience is the key to the job. And while there have been challenges, it’s already given him lasting memories, citing a 14-hour journey between Finley, NSW and Roma, QLD as one of his career highlights so far.

Paddy says that the first thing he would do if he wins the Rural Transport Rising Star Award is buy some working dogs to help him out with the livestock. He has future ambitions to become an owner driver and upgrade his licence further to be able to drive road trains, and even own his own transport business.


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