Women Moving Australia Case Studies
Name: Lyndal Denny
What is your job title?
Executive Director Business Development
Which company/organisation do you work for?
As co-founder of Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls, my time these days is predominately spent working with colleague Heather Jones on the establishment of a National Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Institute in Karratha.
Job description (in 25 words or less!):
Dynamic. Brief, fly, write syllabus, write 142, night fly, IFR fly, student assessment, every day is different – it’s great.
What studies have you undertaken?
Diploma Business Management, MC License, Certificate IV Training and Assessment, Certificate IV Employment Services
Tell us about your experience in the transport & logistics industry.
My experience in the transport and logistics industry started on the other side of the fence on the other side of the country in 2007 when for the third time in 12 months as a motorist, I was tail-gaited on the Pacific Highway in northern NSW by an aggressive truck driver in a 62 tonne b-double.
In taking my experiences to the streets of Ballina, I discovered almost everyone had had similar experiences and that a culture of lawlessness had developed on the highway – the perpetrators predominantly drivers of the overnight interstate freighters transporting goods between Sydney and Brisbane on ridiculously tight deadlines. The focus of the Coast to Coast 100 community road safety campaign I subsequently spear-headed, was to liaise with transport Companies nationally to get this minority of cowboys out of trucks and off our roads. In those early days, WA trucking industry stalwart Heather Jones was sent to the eastern states to deal with “the sheila creating so much trouble for the industry.”
Once we met, it didn’t take long for both Heather and I to realise we were fighting the same fight – just from different sides of the battlefield and the country. Her thoughts were that I would have a better understanding of the issues facing heavy vehicle drivers if I “crossed over to the dark side” and became one. With Heather’s support and encouragement, I progressed through my heavy vehicle training and assessment arriving in Karratha May 2013 with my MC license. Under Heather’s watchful eye – as a newly licensed MC driver I commenced 200+ hours of industry training, learning the multitude of skills new truck drivers must have before they will be considered for work.
This training included loading, assessing and securing freight in accordance with prevailing Chain of Responsibility legislation, conducting daily pre-starts, ensuring safe work practices whilst carrying oversize loads, interpreting local, intra and interstate permits, complying with fatigue legislation, ensuring safe work environments, identifying and reporting mechanical problems, hooking up and securing trailers, building road trains, fueling up, safe on-road driving, truck radio etiquette, sharing the roads responsibly, changing tyres, maintaining log books and working with different trailer types.
These days I divide my time between Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls business development and delivering oil, gas and mining freight across the Pilbara. Last month as a career highlight, I drove a 150 tonne fully loaded quad on an 1800km round trip Karratha to Broome for MH Carr Contracting – one of PHHG’s main supporters.
Which other industries have you worked in?
In past lives I have worked as Regional Manager across the NSW Northern Rivers in the Employment Services Sector for Wesley Mission looking after sites in Ballina, Lismore and Casino. My younger days were spent working in television and print media before spending a number of years in Tamworth as a pub owner. All these jobs prepared me well for working with the diversity of people found in the trucking industry.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Never settle for a job you’re not passionate about!
Best advice to give?
Show up early, dress professionally and stay off social media during work hours!
It’s a bad day when:
Research shows just 1% female on-road heavy vehicle driver workforce participation rates nationally. With 50% of today’s truck drivers set to retire in the next 15 years, clearly the industry needs to step up to the plate in terms of driver training and female participation rates.
It’s a good day when:
Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls National Heavy Vehicle Driver Institute providing 160 hours free industry training to newly licensed drivers opens its doors early 2016.
What direction do you see yourself heading in the future?
Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls – as an Australian first – plan to establish a Karratha-based National Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Institute, providing newly licensed drivers with 160 hours road freight transport experience. Training will be provided at no cost to self-funded drivers. Accommodation will also be provided at no cost to self-funded drivers visiting Karratha. Company drivers are invited to participate in the program on a fee-fortraining/accommodation basis. Almost without exception, newly-licensed truck drivers are turned away by industry recruiters who advise them to reapply for driving positions once they have experience. The National Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Institute aims to provide that experience – bridging the gap between drivers getting a truck license and securing employment.
Who are your role models?
Heather Jones – co-founder of Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls, 25 year trucking industry veteran and 2015 winner of the Australian Transport Association’s “Most Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Road Transport Sector” Award.
Rod Hannifey – well-known national road transport advocate Rod was awarded the ATA’s National Professional Driver of the Year Award. He continues to work with all three tiers of government, industry organisations, communities and schools taking his road safety message to the streets.
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, what do you do?
Girlie maintenance as opposed to truck maintenance – eyebrows, nails, hair etc.
Sunrise or sunset?
Definitely sunrise. A short burst (and I mean short!) of exercise before breakfast springboards me into my day. The first hour I spend assessing my priorities and focusing on what I absolutely need to accomplish during the day. I always try to get the least desirable task out of the way first. Early nights also help me jump out of bed each day and into my truck when needed to service the needs of the oil, gas and mining sectors.
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