MORE than 470 guests met at the Australian Supply Chain and Logistics Awards on Friday night to celebrate the sector’s many achievements throughout 2023.

The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia hosted the ASCL awards at the Fullerton Sydney. It was the first event of its kind since 2019.

The awards recognise individuals and businesses who have contributed to technology, education, services and innovation in logistics and the supply chain.

“You all understand the interconnectedness between our industry sectors,” SCLAA chair Sue Tomic said in her opening address.

“Every single sector relies on every other sector. Inefficiency or crisis in one will eventually have repercussions up and downstream.”

Ms Tomic recalled crises the industry faced in recent years and lauded it for its resilience.

“The result of working under a crisis was innovation. The acceleration with which the industry embraced different solutions: tech solutions, robotics, automation, different ways of doing things.”

She spotlighted the two new awards SCLAA had introduced during the crisis that was Covid: the Big Data, IT and Business Intelligence Award and the Automation, Robotics or Emerging Technology Award.

After a sumptuous main course, guest speaker Paul Graham, group CEO and managing director of Australia Post, said the crisis had sparked a transformation at Australia Post.

He said the group’s transformation was a mirror into the transformation the wider industry was undergoing.

“Covid … did transform who we are as a business and gained us some profile that we’d never had before, and I think we need to keep using that profile because we are an essential service,” Mr Graham said.

“Supply chain is now … being openly discussed, and we need to take advantage of that. We are starting to see supply chain experts be recognised in businesses.”

Mr Graham encouraged industry to start lobbying for the changes it needs.

“Changes to ensure we keep our people safe and healthy, the changes we need to make sure we drive efficiency through national infrastructure and good and sensible regulations, and the changes we need to make in terms of our own collaboration.

“It’s the collective energy we bring to this business that gives us a voice within the community and within the business of Australia, and we need to be a louder voice.”

Awards presented throughout the night included the Start Up Award, the Industry Excellence Award, the Training, Education and Development Award and the Future Leaders Award.