The Insider Article – LEEA’s Launch Pad
LHA AUGUST 2020 | THE INSIDER | ASHLEY THACKER
The digital age means we can promote the lifting industry, especially below-the-hook, more effectively than ever before—but we’ve got to seize the moment.
As a nine-year tenure on the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) board concludes, it’s time to reflect and give new leadership our full support.
I remember the size of the task that faced us nine years ago; it was like standing at the foot of a mountain. Our end goal, as it is today, was to make LEEA the industry standard for procurement and use of all lifting equipment services in Australia.
First, we had to tell more people who LEEA was and what it does. It was no small feat and I always felt that it was going to take the best part of my career to complete our mission. It was also going to take a broader commitment and widespread support from peers and end-users alike.
Of course, my journey with LEEA started long before that; when I was still in my early twenties. I was travelling on a gap year and decided to take a break to do a course at the association’s head office in Huntingdon, not too far from London where I was staying. There was a gravitational pull given that the family business was in the lifting industry and, although there were no Australian members at the time, my father, Steve, had spoken of LEEA and encouraged me to check them out while overseas.
It was a significant moment given that it exposed me to formal training and put into perspective that no such thing was available in Australia at the time. Fast forward a few years and I was invited to join the board as a 26 year old, taking regular trips back to Huntingdon for meetings and subsequent training.
Over the years, the rallying has increasingly been heard to the extent that industry has elected new blood into the important role of LEEA International / Regional Director—Australia. Handing the baton to Steven Flint, founder and CEO of The Rigging Shed in Western Australia, is somewhat bittersweet. Steve has an incredible 34 years’ worth of industry experience to contribute and will bring a new perspective to the role which is always a good thing. But I’m just as passionate about the work of LEEA in Australia today as I was 9 years ago and I’ve still got much more to give to this important cause.
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