Industry Stalwarts Honoured at 2023 QBIC Industry Awards

Photography Of The 2023 Queensland Bus Industry Council Annual Conference In Cairns.
Ros and Barry Rothery accepting Barry’s Outstanding Contribution Award at the councils 2023 Industry Awards. PHOTO: QBIC

Industry veteran Barry Rothery has been recognised by his peers for his extraordinary contribution to the bus industry, receiving one of the Queensland Bus Industry Council’s highest accolades.

Barry, who is an integral part of CDC Queensland’s Rothery’s Coaches team was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution Award at the council’s 2023 Industry Awards on Saturday night, alongside CDC Gladstone driver Marie Ochelen, who won the Manmeet Sharma Perpetual Professional Driver Award.

CDC Regional Australia Division Chief Executive Officer Tony Hopkins congratulated both employees for their outstanding achievements.

Mr Hopkins said Barry, along with his wife Ros, founded Rothery’s Coaches in 1977. The business joined the CDC family in March 2022. Currently, Barry’s son Kirt is the business’ operating manager, and his wife Nicky also assists in running the business in the Rockhampton area.

“Barry has promoted and supported the bus industry for more than 45 years. His passion and desire to promote, grow and lead a safe and inclusive bus industry has made him a deserving recipient of this award,” he said.

“Despite Barry’s attempts to retire, he continues to pass his medicals and drive on a casual basis. Barry also continues to have a willingness to mentor up and coming staff in the industry. Barry is passionate about the Central Queensland region and worked hard to support his community.”

When the Rotherys started their business in 1977, the fleet consisted of two second-hand Bedford buses and a 12-seater Ford, operated from their home in Waterloo St, Rockhampton. The business and fleet grew from transporting 45 students to more than 700 school passengers today. The charter side of the business was also established and expanded to include long-haul charter business and increased his local tours, interstate, and Australia-wide tour options.

Barry gained significant experience across the charter sector and was appointed to the board of QBIC and the Rockhampton Tourism board. He supported the travel needs of people and students with disabilities across Rockhampton, working with Endeavour and the local Special Schools to transport students to various activities and secured international defence work and contracts such as Queensland Rail.

Marie, who has been a bus driver for 43 years, was honoured to receive the QBIC award named after Manmeet Sharma, who lost his life in tragic circumstanced while driving his bus. The award recognises drivers in the industry who have been a credit to their profession through their safe driving.

CDC Gladstone Driver Marie Ochelen, Who Won The Manmeet Sharma Perpetual Professional Driver Award.
CDC Gladstone driver Marie Ochelen, who won the Manmeet Sharma Perpetual Professional Driver Award.

Marie started her career with Gladstone Bus and Coach in 1980. The business was taken over by Buslink, which was later acquired by ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) and subsequently rebranded to CDC Gladstone.

Driving the same bus since it was bought brand new back 2010, Marie has immense pride in her own and her bus’ appearance and how that reflects on CDC. With dedication, Marie comes in early every single day and cleans her bus before her runs start.”

Mr Hopkins said Marie continues to exceed the expectations in dedication and pride in her work and her ability to service her customers.

“She has learned every run we have over the years, both school and urban. She is a local through and through and transported many of her school students’ parents when they were at school. Marie is also one of our most trusted charter drivers because we know she takes great pride in her bus and the company”.

TransLink’s Queensland Bus Driver of the Year Awards were also announced on the night, with CDC Queensland driver Glen Schemioneck a finalist in the school bus driver category.

QBIC Executive Director David Tape said the awards were designed to promote standards of excellence, recognising significant achievements within the bus industry in Queensland.

“CDC Queensland has once again demonstrated the exceptional calibre of their employees, with two employees recognised with top honours on the night. Their remarkable accomplishments deserve to be applauded and celebrated by all of us,” he said.

The gala awards were presented at the Pullman Cairns International on Saturday, April 15, 2023.

QBIC is the peak representative body for the bus and coach industry in Queensland, and as such is the voice of private bus and coach operators in Queensland. Seven awards were given out – the Achiever of the Year Award, Supplier of the Year Award, Environmental/ Innovation Award, Outstanding Contribution Award, Apprentice of the Year Award, Employer of the Year Award, and the Manmeet Sharma Perpetual Professional Driver Award.

The night was concluded by TransLink’s Queensland Bus Driver of the Year Awards: Queensland School Services Bus Driver of the Year Award, South East Queensland Bus Driver of the Year Award and Regional Queensland Bus Driver of the Year Award. Nominations were reviewed by a panel who determined three finalists in each category, which the public subsequently voted on.

Buses At The CDC Gladstone Depot Are Kept Spick And Span – Marie Comes In Every Day To Clean Hers Before Her Shifts Without Fail.
Buses at the CDC Gladstone depot are kept spick and span – Marie comes in early every day to clean hers before her shifts without fail.

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