Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2006.
Marilyn Hams is one of this industry’s most active women members. She was born in Griffith, and worked there before and after her marriage to Peter in 1966. They have two children, Janelle and Malcolm. Marilyn obtained her truck licence in a Dodge tray truck in 1977 to cart cattle for her husband to help with his farming work.
With the first load she did the truck was swaying all over the road. Peter met her halfway into town and told her that no wonder she was ill. The cattle needed to be penned so they could not move about. The Hams later share-farmed 8000 acres at Hillston and Marilyn went on to drive an International 1830 single-drive Acco.
The Acco was fitted with bins, as was a Dodge. These were used hauling wheat to the silos during harvest. She was doing other farm duties: driving an International 4WD sowing the crops, filling the airseeder with wheat, filling the fertilizer part with buckets because she couldn’t lift the bags. In between she was getting up early to cart other farmer’s rice, usually six loads a day, before going back to her own work.
During the 1982 drought they were almost wiped out and did not receive any government assistance so they put their semi on the road carting grain from Goolgowi to Wahgunyah. At that time Marilyn needed to update her vehicle and negotiated with Jock from Hartwigs Trucks for a 2150 Acco tipper. Marilyn continued to drive for many years, at the same time rearing a family and helping Peter on the farm.
Marilyn and Peter joined the NSW Livestock Transport Association in the early 80s, and became delegates for their region. In 1996 Marilyn capably organized the annual conference in Griffith. In 1997, after attending the ALTA conference in Hobart, Marilyn joined the Griffith Road Safety Group to share the knowledge she obtained about roundabouts. In conjunction with the RTA, Marilyn and her Road Safety Group has provided a stand at the Murrumbidgee Farm Fair every year to this date.
In the 90s Marilyn and a friend started the Truckers Family Support group. Some of the activities she organized were transport industry displays at the Griffith Show which included drawing competitions and children’s truck stories. These were later displayed at one of Canberra’s truck events. A quote from Marilyn sums up her feeelings about industry awareness; ‘I believe we must educate the children not to be afraid of trucks and roadtrains, teach them early.’
Marilyn has been a valuable member of Transport Women Australia in relation to liaising with her local fellow operators and helping to organise functions in the Riverina area. In 2005, she was elected the Cummins Road Transport Women of the Year by her peers at the Australian Trucking Association.