Brandon drives his way to global Passion Award

Brandon Award
Brandon and his partner Rochelle celebrate with Chairman Lim Jit Poh, MD/Group CEO, Yang Ban Seng and Deputy Group CEO, Cheng Siak Kian.

Driving a bus through murky waters and rough terrain was not exactly what Brandon Deutrom had in mind when he first took on the role of depot manager at CDC’s Alice Spring operations.

But that’s exactly what happened in January 2022 when the town was flooded on the first day of school.

Worried about the safety of both the bus drivers and students, Brandon stepped up to the plate and braved the adverse weather conditions to personally lead and guide the school buses through murky waters and rough terrain. Due to the impact of prolonged flooding, he also had to arrange for more drivers to cover the shifts so that services continued to arrive on time and the students were sent to and from schools and their homes safely.

It’s this passion and dedication to his job that Brandon was named the ComfortDelGro Corporation’s Passion Award winner.

MD/GCEO Yang Ban Seng said it gave him great pleasure to announce Brandon as the 2021 winner.

“Beyond the courage and composure shown in the face of a crisis, Brandon also displayed extraordinary compassion for his staff. Knowing that some of his staff needed to find suitable accommodation, Brandon readily housed them in his own home without hesitation when he went on a well-deserved vacation with his family,” he said.

Brandon said he was “pretty chuffed” when he found out about the accolade.

“It’s pretty nice to be recognised but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my team,” he said.

“I was really surprised.”

The young father-of-one travelled to Singapore to the company’s international headquarters for the award ceremony this month – but it’s not the only thing he’ll be celebrating.

He and his partner Rochelle were married on 15 October, and the couple chose to extend their trip and honeymoon in Singapore. While celebrating, they went to Universal Studios Singapore and did a tour of SBS Transit’s Seletar depot.

They also attended a lunch hosted by Chairman Lim Jit Poh, MD/Group CEO, Yang Ban Seng and Deputy Group CEO, Cheng Siak Kian, where Brandon was presented with the PASSION! Trophy and certificate.

“We didn’t have plans to be honest so we thought we may as well use this opportunity!” he said.

“I would like to thank the company for the trip to Singapore, which has been a real eye-opening experience for me.

“I particularly enjoyed the tour of the Seletar Bus depot, as it was impressive in terms of its scale and efficiency. It’s a great honour to be the winner of this award and I am very grateful to the company for recognising my hard work.”

Brandon first joined the CDC team back when the Northern Territory operations were known as Buslink.

“I worked for Buslink VEVO in Darwin and when that was coming to a close, I lined up something with Buslink,” he said.

“After about a year in Darwin I moved to Alice as a mechanic and then obviously worked up to the depot manager position. But I still do mechanic stuff as well as managing the depot.”

Brandon said he’d pursued a career in mechanics straight out of school.

“I just love the challenge of working out how to fix things,” he said.

“I’m a hands-on person. (Working as the depot manager) is something different and it’s good to step away a bit from getting dirty every day.”

He said he enjoyed learning about all the depot’s operations and having a different perspective.

Outside of work, Brandon said he enjoyed spending time with his fiancé Rochelle and their three-year-old son William.

“Sometimes we go fossicking for gems and we enjoy camping – we’re very outdoorsy people and there’s not a huge deal to do around Alice but we go walking and hiking.”

CDC New South Wales Terry Hills depot manager Robert Bicakcian was also named as a finalist in the awards after his quick thinking during a storm.

The other finalists for the 2021 Passion Awards included Bora Fadil and Kolawole Obasa from the UK, Ger Dowling from Ireland, Lam Tze Yuen, Ong Shi Chuin and Teo Yhee Wei from Singapore, Zhang Da Hong and Zhao Yu Hai from China.

Brandon infront of AS Bus