LAMONT, Jill

Jill Lamont Two-up

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005

Jill Lamont first started her career in the road transport industry in the 1970s by driving four wheel drive tourist buses. Based in Alice Springs, she would conduct tours for Sandover Safaris taking tourists to well-known Centralian tourist destinations such as Palm Valley, Kings Canyon, Standley Chasm and Ayers Rock.

In 1980, in conjunction with her partner Bob Lamont, Jill began her truck driving career. Most of the next decade was spent carting fuel, prawns, mangoes and produce to and from places as diverse as Fitzroy Crossing, Kununurra, Halls Creek, Townsville and Darwin.

In 1983 Jill and Bob decided to spend the year living at Ayers Rock during the construction of the Uluru Tourist Park and Yulara township. Jill worked for Railex, delivering freight around the construction site. She was the only female on site complete with her own hard hat but the call of the highways beckoned and the couple started hauling fuel to remote locations throughout northern Australia again.  In early 1991 Jill and Bob left Alice Springs for a one week trip (taking fuel to Fitzroy Crossing Power Station) that would take over a month and would end with Jill seriously ill with Ross River fever and tropical ulcers. The rivers were up following torrential monsoons.

Jill and Bob had to wait time and again for rivers to recede. The Victoria River was reported once to be nine metres over the Victoria River Bridge and huge saltwater crocodiles were sighted at Timber Creek.

Moving to Adelaide in 1994 saw Jill and Bob carting fuel twice a week from Adelaide to Alice Springs. She continued to drive ‘two up’ with Bob on this run until 1998 when ill health forced Jill to retire and step out of the truck for the last time.

Jill was one of the few female truckies in Australia working along-side a man (Bob) as his equal co-driver in every sense of the word. She was an integral part of the road transport industry through three jurisdictions.