The March ASCL Awards – MHD

Stephen Lakey, VIC/TAS Director for SCLAA.

Stephen Lakey, VIC/TAS Director for SCLAA, discusses the forthcoming ASCL Awards and his role chairing the 60th anniversary event. 

Could you describe your background in the supply chain industry – your career and expertise?

I first joined SCLAA in 2008 as a member, I was elected President of the Victorian & Tasmanian Division in 2020 and I am currently a Director on the National board and Chair of the Australian Supply Chain & Logistics Awards (ASCLA).  My other hat is a supply chain & logistics consultant at Gamma Solutions where I have worked for the past 13 years helping companies gain efficiencies and provide greater visibility of their supply chain. 

What attracted you to SCLAA as organisation? 

In 2008 I was given membership to the SCLAA as part of my employment with Gamma Solutions.  When I later joined the VIC/TAS division committee I found an amazing group of people – dedicated to supply chain industry and supporting each other. I saw people grow in skills and gain confidence.  I saw career advancement and newly graduated members get their dream jobs. It was something that I knew I wanted to be a part of.

Reflecting on the past six decades of ASCL awards, could you tell us why they remain such a pivotal event for the industry?

Sixty years is a long time and over the decades the ASCL Awards has cemented itself as the most recognised and influential awards in supply chain.  Supply chain is invisible to most people when working well – the right goods get delivered to the right place at the right time. We can take it for granted.  The past 18 months has of course put the spotlight on supply chain as many disruptions have slowed or even paused the movement of goods around the world – putting immense pressure on supply chain professionals globally.  That’s why this year, in particular, recognising the efforts & achievements of those in the industry are more important than ever.

How do you feel about chairing this forthcoming ASCL awards? 

Given the history of this event it is a great honour to Chair the event this year – and wonderful to bring the event to Melbourne. Our generous sponsors have meant we have an amazing venue at Crown Palladium while keeping ticket prices affordable.

We’ve noted in previous editions that there are some new awards categories at the next ASCL awards – could you recapitulate what these new categories are and how and why they were chosen? 

This year there are three new awards that reflect the forever changing landscape of supply chain. Technology and innovation are key drivers of supply chain efficiency and the new categories reflect areas that have had a significant and increasing impact on our industry.

The new awards are:

  • Automation, Robotics or Emerging Technology Award;
  • Big Data, IT & Business Intelligence Award; and the
  • Start-Up Award.

Is it exciting to have Shane Jacobsen on board as MC for the event?

We are so thrilled that Shane has agreed to MC the 60th Anniversary Awards. The MC of the awards is a key role and can make or break an awards event. We had discussions internally and with several talent agencies who all came back with the same suggestion – that Shane Jacobsen would be perfect to MC the awards.  It was really uncanny given all the talent out there – so I think it was meant to be. Shane of course is best known for his lead role in the Australian 2006 hit move Kenny where he won an AFI award for best lead actor and has appeared alongside Hollywood greats in movies such as The Bourne Legacy, The Dressmaker, and The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee – just to name a few.  Shane will bring elements of wit, humour, and star power to this year’s awards.

Could you provide some background on Keynote Speaker Shane Walden?

The keynote speaker’s address is the meat in the sandwich of the awards – it’s the time where you sit up and listen to an industry heavyweight discuss a subject that really matters. Shane Walden is MD of ANL container line, which is part of the CMA group – the third largest shipping line globally. Shane will be speaking on the hot topic of challenges in the global shipping market and – specifically – in our area, Oceania. Shane is a genuinely approachable person and a very connectable speaker – I am looking forward to hearing his insights on an industry that has been the focus of attention over the past 18 months.

Why was the decision made to move the event from November to March? 

We have been working closely with the team at Crown Events and, given the outlook, it was ultimately an easy decision to move the awards to March. The ASCLA awards is very much a national awards and the restrictions on interstate travel would have meant that many people would not have been able to attend or even be presented with their awards.  The March date is considered a safe month by most observers and we have a digital option on standby if for any reason a state or states go into lockdown at short notice. In that case the event will still be held live – and for anyone in a lockdown state they could be presented virtually on the big screen digitally. We also have a lenient ticketing policy should ticket holders not be able to attend due to a COVID-lockdown.

For more information on SCLAA, click here. 

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