7 May 1997

Nineteen bus and coach operators will graduate from a University of Queensland-organised accreditation course at a ceremony at the Cairns Holiday Inn on Sunday, May 11 at 5.30pm.

The operators have completed the Certificate of Transport Management program conducted by the University's Graduate School of Management throughout Queensland for the Queensland Department of Transport.

About 838 people from Cairns to the Gold Coast have enrolled in the program since 1995, some returning to formal study for the first time in 30 or 40 years.

Course graduates have signalled their intent for more professional development with the formation of their own Transport Studies Alumni. The Alumni group was formed in Brisbane last month and will be launched in Cairns at the University ceremony.

Bob Barton, Acting Regional Director Northern Queensland Department of Transport will give an address and present graduates with certificates.

Transport Studies Alumni Joint Vice-President, Joan Comino of Tolga, will attend the Cairns ceremony and will also receive a Certificate of Transport Management. Alumni committee members Jeanette Price of Suncity Tours (Cairns) and Sabine Honey of Suncoast Far North Four Wheel Drive Safaris (Aeroglen) will be among guests.

Program director and lecturer in the GSM Malcolm Johnson said the Transport Studies Alumni would create opportunities for networking and for members to keep informed of issues that impacted on the industry.

'The Alumni will actively support development and maintenance of good operating standards across the bus and coach industry and will provide a professional development mechanism,' he said.

'It will enable members to tap into the wealth of experience existing among operators.'

Mr Johnson said in 1995 the GSM won a $750,000 contract to develop and deliver the Certificate of Transport Management course for the Queensland Department of Transport. The course followed significant reforms to bus and coach industry programs in 1994.

The certificate program accredits bus and coach operators to run their businesses safely and successfully. It highlights industry best practice and provides an opportunity for operators to optimise their business operations. Courses offered include School Services, Long Distance, Tour and Charter, and Commercial/Urban Services.

Participants completing the eight-day Commercial course are accredited for all types of operations, including School Services, and Long Distance, Tour and Charter.

Topics covered in the Commercial course include the bus and coach industry in Queensland, accounting for business management, services marketing, business development, human resource management, safety routines and programmed maintenance, bus operations, and scheduling and timetabling.

The course was developed by the GSM working closely with a Queensland Department of Transport team and industry groups comprising the Bus Operators Association of Queensland and the Bus and Coach Association of Queensland.

'The underlying philosophy of the Certificate of Transport Management is to provide an opportunity for operators to work on their businesses,' Mr Johnson said.

'Too frequently, operators are consumed by a myriad of day-to-day operational issues. The courses provide a forum to analyse and discuss valuable best-practice issues relating to the direction of their businesses.'

There are an estimated 1200 bus and coach operators in Queensland.

Graduating students at the Cairns ceremony are: William Bale; Raymond Boldero (High Country Tours and Charters); Julie Brown (Australian Pacific Tours); Gerry Collins (Undara Experience); Joan Comino; Justin Coventry (Cooktown Tours); John Croooks (Mission Beach Connection); Stephen Edwards (Murrays); Kevin Emerson; Keith English ; Hazel Hennessey; June Mackay (High Country Tours & Charters); Ronald Ryan ; Joseph Schmid; Gail Strike ; Helen Toms (Hughes Cruises); John Wilkie; Jeannine Veivers; Tony Zafer (Qld Department of Transport).

For further information, contact Mr Johnson, telephone 07 3365 6667.