She’s loved trucks from the moment she was introduced to them, and that passion has paid off.
Coralie Chapman has been awarded the Excellence in Transport Award at the 2023 Women in Industry Awards night.
“The only thing that is not delivered on a truck is a baby,” is a line Coralie Chapman loves using, especially on those not familiar with the industry.
“When you use that line, people really start to think about it, and how much we depend on trucks.”
Chapman should know, she’s worked in almost every aspect of the industry over the last two decades.
From having her own trucks and holding a heavy rigid license, to becoming a logistics expert and a passionate safety advocate.
She was honoured at this year’s Women in Industry Awards in Melbourne, taking the Excellence in Transport award.
“I love working in transport and have loved it since day one,” she said, accepting her award.
“I’m quite lucky these days. I work for Humes Concrete, so I also do construction manufacturing, but I also get to play with my trucks every day.”
Chapman is well known within transport for working tirelessly to ensure the safety and viability of the industry, as well as encouraging women to choose transport as a career path and advocating for diversity and inclusion.
She took the opportunity during her acceptance speech to highlight the importance of making women feel invited into the world of industry, rather than intimidated.
“If there is a takeaway tonight, my hope is that instead of saying ‘male dominated industry,’ which can sound very threatening, especially for young women, we change it to ‘predominantly male’,” she said.
“’Predominantly male’ sounds more inviting. If we can learn to change our language when we’re talking to women, it’s a big step towards getting more women into any predominantly male industry.”
Chapman got her foot in the transportation door almost 25 years ago, accepting a traineeship at Linfox, after hearing a talk by a Linfox employee.
“When he was on stage, he was so passionate and I knew I wanted that, come hell or high water,” Chapman said.
She beat out two male applicants to get the position and although she admits she was “as green as they come,” has worked her way through the ranks, with posts in administration and operations, to become a scheduler.
Today she is the National Logistics Manager for Humes Concrete Products.
In 2016 Chapman joined the Transport Women Australia board, serving as Secretary and now as Vice Chair.
By 2018, she was one of 11 industry representatives handpicked for the Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders professional program where she developed a project to enhance the image of the industry and raise safety awareness.
Her previous awards have included the Cummins South Pacific Trucking Australia competition, and she was named the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year at the 2019 Trucking Australia Awards Gala after being a finalist for two years running.
“I think the future of the industry is in good hands,” Chapman said, following her win.
“We need people who are passionate whether they are male or female. There is so much more to this industry that meets the eye and so much more to do.”