2023/2024 QTA Ltd Board of Directors as elected at the Annual General Meeting


Paul Kahlert
All Purpose Transport (APT) - Berrinba, Brisbane

Paul commenced his transport career as a 19 year old, working for a freight forwarder at Expo 88.  A conversation at Expo 88 with the owner of APT lead to a job offer, helping to set up a new computer system and 35 years later Paul remains at APT.  After working his way through the business in various roles including General Manager for 20 years and was promoted to CEO in July 2022.

Paul specialises in Strategic Planning, Business Planning & Budget, Project Management and Implementation, Workforce Development and now, Pandemic Crisis Management. 

Paul is a keen Brisbane Lions fan and enjoys getting out on his jet ski or beach 4WDing.


Bryan Smith
Rocky's Own Transport Company - Rockhampton, Central Queensland

Bryan has now worked in the transport industry for over 30 years, originally starting as a Business Development Manager before changing direction to management type roles.  Bryan was then appointed as the CEO for Rocky's Own where he has now been for 15 years. 

Bryan enjoys the challenges that come with running a busy transport business, especially the people management side of things which can often get complex.  Bryan has implemented initiatives at Rocky's Own that focus on staff retention and recognition. 

Bryan is a tireless worker, always willing to give young people a go or have a conversation with anyone keen to learn more about the industry or who may need some extra support to get into the workforce.  Bryan also volunteers a lot of his time participating in committees and on boards. 

When he gets some time off, Bryan likes to hang glide, travel and spear fish in his time off. 


Andrew Tompkins
IOR Group of Companies - Brisbane

Andrew joined IOR in 2015, new to the transport industry and at a time when IOR only had a handful of trucks. Fast-forward to today, a much larger company, investing heavily in transport infrastructure and Andrew heads up finance as the Chief Finance Officer. 

A Chartered Accountant with a wealth of knowledge and experience in a variety of industries Andrew is passionate about his work and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). 

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys spending time with family and friends and also enjoys trail running and walking. 


Samantha Clayton
Barnes Auto Co Australia Pty Ltd - Brisbane 

Samantha grew up in her family towing business on the Sunshine Coast and has had a passion for transport since she was a kid. She went on to study at university gaining degrees in Business and Accounting and worked in financial compliance and advisory services before being drawn back to the family business.  She enjoyed the operational side of things and joined the newly acquired Barnes Auto Co as a Director in 2018.

Samantha has since gained hands on experience in the full spectrum of operations within a transport business. She has implemented various new systems ensuring efficient and profitable processes, she has the ability to think outside the box, always looking for better ways to get the job done and enjoys working and learning from talented individuals within the industry. 

Outside of work Samantha enjoys contributing to the community through working with not-for-profit organisations and volunteering for At Risk Youth in regional QLD. She is also a self-confessed adrenaline junkie.  

Ben Colvin
Prochem Haulage Pty Ltd - Mackay, North Queensland

Ben may have started in the transport industry officially in 2008 but he has been involved in the family transport business since he was 10 years old. As soon as he was able to sit in the drivers seat properly, Ben's father John had him backing truck and dog combinations between 44 gallon drums in the yards. 

Ben never looked back and has been the Operations Manager at Prochem Haulage for over 5 years. 

Ben brings a wealth of mechanical and regional/mining knowledge to his role at Prochem, as well as his numerous competencies with three trades under his belt (Engineering, Mechanical Automotive and Electrical/Refrigeration Automotive), he is an Approved Examiner with Transport and Main Roads and has also recently started an Advanced Diploma.   Ben was part of the inaugural QTA/Daimler Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program in 2018.

Mechanics is his passion and Ben works on his Harley's in his time off and loves spending time with his young family. 

Tayla Connolly
Oakdare Holdings Pty Ltd - Townsville, Queensland

Tayla has been in and around trucks before she could walk, answering the phones at the Oakdare Holdings Mossman depot (owned by her mum and dad) at just 5 years of age. 

After moving away to Brisbane in her teens to complete her University studies, Tayla decided to move back home to Townsville and has worked fulltime in the family business since 2017. A qualified Chartered Acocuntant, her role in the business was originally a financial/accounting one however she has grown with the business over the years and is now in Management, utilising her Bachelor of Business degree. 

Tayla is enthusiastic about business efficiency including operational systems implementation and projects and specialises in cash flow dynamics, receiverships and voluntary administration. 

When not at work, Tayla enjoys spending some much needed quiet time on the family cattle station on the Tablelands. 

Cheryl Connor
Exodas Pty Ltd - Yatala, SE Queensland

Only fairly new to the industry compared to some, Cheryl left her Administration Management role seven years ago to go work for Exodas.  After being part of the management team for three and a half years, Cheryl was appointed as CEO in 2019. 

Cheryl has strong organisational, communication and leadership skills, and has an ability to adapt and manage any situation that arises.  Cheryl strongly promotes the importance of building a team environment in any business. 

Cheryl loves nothing more than spending time with friends and family, camping, reading and also volunteers her time on a number of committees within her local community. 

Tracie Dickenson
Daryl Dickenson Transport (DDT) - Carole Park, Brisbane

Tracie started out in the industry when she met her husband Daryl back in 1990 although she wasn't entirely new to the industry, with her father driving trucks when she was a baby.

Since 1990, Tracie and Daryl have grown the business from owner/operators to the successful small/medium company it is today.  DDT has a strong reputation for reliability and efficiency and a focus on safety. 

Tracie has a real passion for safety and is involved in a number of committees and focus groups that specialise not only on this topic but industry improvement in general.   In 2013 Tracie was awarded the QTA Trucking Woman of the Year Award and in 2017 the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year.

In her spare time, Tracie loves spending time with her beautiful grandchildren.

Michael Mahon
MJ Mahon Transport - Brisbane Markets

Michael started MJ Mahon transport straight after High School with one small truck, completing courier deliveries. He eventually upgraded the business by selling his single vehicle to buy two 12-tonne trucks.  Since then, his business has gone from strength to strength and gradually grown to the successful, 30-truck operation it is today. 

With over 20 years of experience, Michael has developed strong business management skills including customer service, employee relations, business and cash flow analysis and forecasting experience. 

Michael is continuing to expand his knowledge and share his experience by joining our Board of Directors. 

Aside from his love of trucks, Michael has a keen interest in classic cars, country music and taking the family camping and 4WDing.

Julie Russell
Russell Transport Pty Ltd - Eagle Farm, Brisbane

Russell Transport is a family business based in Brisbane and celebrated their 95th year anniversary in 2020.   Julie's grandmother offered her a role in the business whilst she undertook university studies and her role grew from there.    

Julie has been in her current role as Director since 2007 and her strengths include Human Resources, Industrial Relations, Risk and Compliance and effective management of staff in a large business. 

In 2014 Julie won the QTA Trucking Woman of the Year Award and followed on to win the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year Award in 2015.

Julie's interests outside of work include karate, travel, exploring nature and reading. 

David Simon
Simon National Carriers - Toowoomba & Australia-wide

David's first experience in the transport and logistics industry was back when he was in school, working in depots after school and on school holidays. It was then that David developed a passion for the industry and decided to join the family business where he has now spent the last 26 years in the role of CEO.

David believes in giving back to the industry, volunteering much of his time participating in committees and on boards. David is a past Australian Trucking Association Chair, and currently serves as an ATA Board and Council member and QTA Board of Directors member. In 2013 David was awarded the QTA Industry Excellence Award and in 2014 the ATA Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry Award.

Outside of running a busy transport company, David enjoys skiing, travel, food/wine and spending time with friends. 

Brian Smith
D & B Smith Brothers Transport - Mount Garnett, Queensland 

A 3rd generation transport operator, Brian's grown up living and breathing trucks and transport. Brian's grandfather chopped and carted logs with a bullock team on the Atherton Tablelands before the 1st World War, carrying loads throughout the Tablelands. Brian's father carted timber and electric poles around the Atherton Tablelands before moving to Julia Creek where he carted cattle and general freight including concrete and supplies to build roads and bridges on what is now the Beef Road from Julia Creek to the Three Ways in Western Queensland.

Brian and his brother Denis officially started the business in 1983, firstly in the logging industry and then transferred their skills into the livestock industry. Starting up in Cape York Peninsula in the early days mustering clean skin (feral) cattle and transporting cattle out of the Cape to the Southern Red Meat Markets. Today their business model hasn’t changed much, still specialising in livestock transport and general freight in and out of Northern Australia.

Brian served on the LRTAQ Board as the Far Northern Delegate from 2013-2021 and when he gets a rare moment of quiet he enjoys spending time at home with his dog Walshy.