OzHelp announces 2022 Health in Gear Ambassadors

  • Ambassador Announcement

The OzHelp Foundation (OzHelp) is pleased to announce its 2022 Health in Gear Ambassadors that will help raise awareness of the program, and the importance of truck driver health and wellbeing.

There are three new Ambassadors, Kate Beck, Ian (Eno) Taylor, and Sally Tipping, joining two continuing Ambassadors, Rod Hannifey and Lyndal Denny.

The Ambassadors come directly from the industry, with first-hand knowledge of the challenges drivers face on and off the road, and are passionate about improving health and wellbeing in the industry.

OzHelp CEO Darren Black said he was incredibly pleased to welcome new and continuing Ambassadors, noting their skills and experience, and generosity in volunteering their time to support the Health in Gear program.

“Ambassadors play a big role, sharing their knowledge, using their networks and channels to help get the word out, and connecting us with the industry and drivers. We look forward to working with them,” Mr. Black said.

Well-known interstate truck driver, Ambassador, and President of the National Road Freighters Association, Rod Hannifey brings decades of experience to the role. “The safety of truck drivers has been my priority, and that’s more than road and vehicle safety. It’s about having adequate rest stops to sleep well, having access to facilities to eat well, and having industry specific support options like Health in Gear to handle the challenging aspects of the job if it becomes too much,” he said.

Ambassador, heavy vehicle driver, and CEO of Women in Trucking Australia, Lyndal Denny says the health and well-being of the nation’s truck drivers is critical. “Until recently, the industry’s focus has been on driver safety,” Lyndal says. “It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of a program that looks at the equally important flip side of the coin – heavy vehicle driver mental health and wellbeing.”

OzHelp would like to thank its 2021 Ambassadors for their commitment and service to its Health in Gear phase one program rollout.

Truck drivers are the second highest occupation group at risk of suicide, after construction workers. OzHelp’s Health in Gear program, funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative supported by the Federal Government, is now in its second year of program rollout and was developed in collaboration with truck drivers, their families, and industry representatives. The program offers a range of resources including roadside Truckie Tune Up health checks delivered by an OzHelp wellbeing support worker and nurse at popular rest stops and service stations, a 24/7 phone support line, a website with health tips to stay well, and an engaging podcast series, Share the Load.

To learn more about the 2022 Ambassadors, click here.

Transport and logistics workers and their families can access free counselling and 24/7 support by calling Health in Gear on 1800 464 327. For 24/7 crisis support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.