Trailer Magazine

Vale Peter Rocke

  • Posted on Thursday 6th, December 2018.

The Australian road transport industry is in mourning following the sad news of the passing of Peter Rocke.

The Executive Council and Secretariat of the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) have extended their deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Rocke.

"Peter was a doyen of the road transport industry and a significant supporter of the VTA, serving as President in 1987 when the association was known as the Victorian Road Transport Association," said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.

"Peter was also heavily involved in related industry groups and spent much of his working life advocating for better conditions for freight operators through his involvement with the VTA, and later the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the Road Transport Federation and the National Freight Forwarding Association.

"Hailing from a transport family – his great-grandfather, Martin Rocke, started the family business carting supplies from Melbourne to the Bendigo goldfields in 1857 – Peter Rocke joined the family business E.A. Rocke in 1955 at the persuasion of his father, Gerald.

"He remained with the business through its eventual acquisition by transport company F.H. Stephens, which was later acquired by Mayne Nickless. Peter Rocke worked in numerous senior roles with Mayne Nickless including Victorian Operations Manager, General Manager of International Operations, Director of Operations and Regional Director, Victoria & Tasmania.

"The Rocke name re-emerged in 2003 with the establishment of Rocke Bros. owned and managed by Peter’s sons Michael, Mathew and Paul, with Peter serving as Chairman.

"Road freight operators owed a debt of gratitude to Peter Rocke for his lifelong service to the transport industry.

"Along with his highly visible roles advocating for the industry through the VTA, ATA and other associations, Peter mentored many people in the transport industry and did a lot of work to raise the working and safety standards for sub-contractors and owner-drivers.

"As Chairman of the Port of Melbourne for several years, Peter was heavily involved in reform at the waterfront in the 1990s, and as a skilled industrial relations specialist he was always available to offer advice and support.

"The Australian road transport industry is in mourning following the sad news of the passing of Peter Rocke," he said.

The ATA has also extended its condolences to Peter’s wife Ann and their children and extended family.

“The ATA and the industry are saddened by the loss of Peter Rocke, who was a tireless advocate for the industry,” said the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch.

“Peter was one of the central drivers for the creation of a national voice for Australia’s trucking industry, which resulted in the creation of the ATA.”

“He recognised the need for a united and national voice for the industry to provide a genuine commitment to improving road safety.”

“Without the contribution that Peter made the ATA would not be the voice it is today for the safety, professionalism and viability of Australia’s trucking industry.”

Peter Rocke was awarded the National Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry in 1994, and the Don Watson Memorial Award for conspicuous service to the industry in 2008.

In 2011, the ATA released Putting Safety First which tells the story of the creation of the ATA. The book was developed by a history committee led by Peter Rocke.

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