The fleet management industry has such a diverse range of people and roles, and everyone has a unique story of their journey in our industry. This month we speak with and recognise Rachel Brown-Hughey for being a corecipient of the 2022 IPWEA FLEET Award presented at the recent Australasian Fleet Conference held on 28-30 March. Rachel is the Fleet Administration Officer with Department of Premier and Cabinet (NSW) and was one of two highest-ranking individuals who completed the IPWEA Fleet Management Certificate in the preceding year.
FI: What have you gained and how do/did you feel doing the IPWEA Fleet Management Certificate course?
RBH: Completing the IPWEA Fleet Management Certificate course has provided me with an in depth understanding of not only the day-to-day fleet running but also the long-term strategy and planning that goes into running a fleet. I immediately felt more confident in my role and was able to apply what I had learned in a practical way, relevant to our organisation.
FI: How did you get started in fleet and plant management, and what was your first job in the industry?
RBH: My career started with a Traineeship in Local Government the year after I completed my HSC. I completed my traineeship and applied for a contract role with the Council and was the successful candidate. The original Administration role that I applied for was then transitioned into a Fleet specific role and it was then I discovered my love for the Fleet Industry and set the goal of one day becoming a Fleet Manager.
FI: Tell us about your role and the kind of fleet, plant and/or personnel you manage.
RBH: My current role with NSW DPC is a support role that assists in managing the light vehicle fleet for the Premier and Ministers of NSW along with a few other agencies. I started this role in November 2021 and prior to that have a history in Local Government providing operational and administrative support to Plant & Fleet Coordinators as well as Workshop staff.
FI: What’s the favourite part of your job?
RBH: My favourite part of the job is the diversity that comes along with being in the Fleet Industry. There is something new or different everyday which can be challenging at times but also very exciting.
FI: What are some of the biggest challenges you see facing fleet professionals this year and beyond?
RBH: I believe some of the bigger challenges fleet professionals face in the future is how quickly the technology in the industry is evolving, and how we, as fleet professionals, keep up to date with technology while balancing the needs of our organisations.
FI: How do you think fleet departments can make sure they have buy-in and support from the rest of their organisation?
RBH: I believe it is important to showcase to the organisation how important the fleet department is. Providing an understanding of the key areas the fleet department supports and making the organisation aware of the implications if the fleet department doesn’t run as efficiently as it should, can assist in gaining support for the rest of the organisation.
FI: If you weren’t in the fleet industry, what would you be doing?
RBH: Fleet has now become my passion. If I wasn’t working in fleet, I would hope that I found another line of professional interest that would have interested me as much, but for now I am focussing on my goals within the fleet sector.
Would you like to share your story as a fleet practitioner with others in the IPWEA FLEET community? If so, then please email your interest to the editor.