For the last five years Yellow Cover’s parent company, NTI has been on course to help find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND). But how did Australia’s leading truck and equipment insurer become so committed to the cause?
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is terminal and has no cure, so when NTI’s former CEO Wayne Patterson received his diagnosis in 2015, he reacted the same way he did to every problem confronting him in life: he took it on directly.
Even after Wayne’s passing in 2018, his legacy at NTI is undeniable and, thanks to his work with the MND and Me Foundation, will continue to benefit MND patients and researchers.
“Wayne took over as CEO at a time when NTI’s survival was questionable,” says current CEO Tony Clark. “He inspired people to make the company work, and the values he put in place are still here today. That’s why when Wayne got diagnosed, we knew he’d want to build something lasting, something to help. So we did, in his honour.”
BIG DISEASE, LITTLE RESEARCH
MND attacks the nerves that link the brain to the muscles – the motor neurones. They degenerate and die, causing muscles to weaken and eventually fail. These muscles include those that control movement, speech, swallowing and breathing. The mind and senses are usually unaffected.
The average life expectancy after diagnosis is two to three years. Every day in Australia, two people are diagnosed, and two die. Currently, around 2100 Australians have the disease.
When Wayne passed away, the impact on NTI was immediate. Even though he’d left in 2007, he was still fondly remembered across the country – and the team at NTI wanted to continue his legacy. They decided instead of donating money, they would do something that reflected Wayne’s values. “We decided we would really get involved,” Tony says. “We could donate money, but we really wanted to engage the transport, logistics & construction industries as well as the insurance industry.”
NEW TRUCK, MEET OLD TRUCK
The team decided to restore a 1946 International Model K5. NTI team members Don Greer and Peeter Liiv got cracking. With NTI’s industry partners on board to help with the more specialised work (panel beating, spray painting, etc.), they got the ‘Green Diamond’ back on the road.
Raffled in 2017, with the winning ticket drawn at Brisbane’s King George Square, the proceeds – more than $55,000 – went to MND and Me.
Green Diamond wasn’t a true concourse restoration, and while the team wanted to do another like it, they decided to take a more modern approach.
“That’s where we came up with the idea of turning new trucks into old trucks,” says Tony.
More restorations followed, and the team wanted to ensure they were suitable for day-to-day running. That’s why they’ve got modern engines and features such as power steering, air conditioning and anti-brake lock systems.
‘Roxanne’, a 1946 Ford Jailbar, was the next project, and she raised more than $200,000 for the cause after being raffled at the 2019 Brisbane Truck Show.
Tony notes the team could not have got the trucks on the road without contributions from our partners, none of whom hesitated to lend a hand.
“They’ve been very generous with their time,” Tony says. Contributions range from donations to cost price. Once you let them know what it’s for, you don’t have to knock on the door twice.”
NTI are excited to announce the next project, ‘Jolene’, another ’46 Jailbar, is underway and raffle tickets are available online now at www.nti.com.au/about/community/win-jolene.
Once again the truck will be raffled live at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show, this time on Sunday 16 May 2021.
This year’s Brisbane Truck Show runs in parallel to the Civil Construction Field Days (Thursday 13 to Saturday 15 May 2021) at Hamilton, as part of Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry week. The best part is, the one entry ticket covers both events and includes a free shuttle between venues. Make the most of it and go in the draw to win yourself a truck while you’re there and support a great cause.
Keen to find out more about Australia’s leader in mobile plant, equipment & machinery insurance? Visit NTI’s Yellow Cover online at www.nti.com.au/yellow-cover.