It is with sadness that we mourn the loss of Australian Transport industry icon Mr Tom Lindsay OAM, while celebrating his legacy, leadership, and support for NatRoad.
The purchase of three second-hand trucks in 1953, jumpstarted Tom Lindsay’s venture with his brother, co-founding Lindsay Brothers – a company which would become one of Australia’s most widely recognisable on the road.
Through hard work and dedication, the Lindsay brothers grew their business from a local produce carrier in Coffs Harbour, diversifying into transporting timber to Sydney, and bringing fuel back from Newcastle.
Tom could never have imagined what the company would become. In 2003, when awarded an Order of Australia for services to the road transport industry and to the community, Tom said that he originally hoped to have a fleet of 20 Mack Trucks and retire at the age of 55.
Today, Lindsay Australia encompasses Lindsay Transport, Lindsay Rural and Lindsay Fresh Logistics and employs more than 1300 people. The fleet of 1200 assets, including rigids, prime movers, semi trailer and rail containers, clocks up 65 million kilometres per year, delivering 2 million tonnes of freight across Australia.
Lindsay Australia General Manager Operations Rob Dummer said Tom’s involvement with the company over seven decades, exemplified his passion for the industry.
“He saw Lindsay’s as more than a transport company. It was about the strong connections with employees, customers and their families.”
It was this strong connection, that would lead Tom to champion the industry’s cause as a founding member of NatRoad.
Lindsay Australia Manager of Safety, People and Culture and NatRoad Board Member Melissa Strong said Tom and his brother Peter were always community and industry-minded.
“There was a lot of change in the industry in the 90s, following the Grafton and Clybucca accidents; and Tom was committed to uniting the industry.”
NatRoad Chairman Scott Davidson said Tom’s involvement in NatRoad gave the industry a voice when it mattered.
“As an early founding member, Tom was focused on continuous improvement and best practice, not just for his people, but for the advancement of the entire Australian transport industry. His legacy has helped NatRoad to support grassroots businesses, shape the agenda of transport policy and get our members home safely to their families every night.”
Ms Strong said Tom had a genuine care and interest for people, no matter what position they held.
“Tom did things because it was the right thing to do, whether it was giving someone a chance with a job, or helping a customer in hard times, or a local community. It was something he just did,” she said.
“Tom leaves a lasting legacy of a great organisation, family and friendships that he can be justifiably proud of and will be greatly missed” – Lindsay Australia.
Tom’s contribution to the Australian Transport Industry was recognised as an inductee to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame (2003), Queensland Road Transport Legends Hall of Fame (2013) and National Road Transport Hall of Fame Industry Icon (2019).