SCHMIDT, Liz & Owen

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2007.

Liz Schmidt, mother of five, grandmother of three and advocate for the industry, broke through the traditional male bastion of the road transport associations when she became the first female secretary of the Livestock Hauliers Association of QLD in 1990.

Liz had applied for the job only two years earlier; but had been told she would not be considered because she had four children. When Liz was finally appointed this position, she had just given birth to her fifth child. Liz and husband Owen operated Schmidt’s Livestock Haulage from their property near Townsville in north Queensland. Their fleet of modern-day Kenworths and the double-deck roadtrains they operate today is a far cry from the second-hand 1418 Mercedes Benz and single-deck strap trailer they started with in 1979. Liz is forthright, independent, outspoken and not afraid to stand up for what she believes. Having worked voluntarily on the LTAQ Board of management for over 20 years, she understands first-hand the issues impacting the road transport industry and the hardships that flow back to trucking families. Owen is thin and wiry, strong as an ox and gives the impression that he has forgotten more about bush tracks, cattle and roadtrains then most of us will ever know. Together, they have proved to be a truly formidable duo.

With Owen working long hours away from home, he could not attend industry meetings, so Liz often went along as his proxy, and it didn’t take long for her to become incensed at some of the things the governments were trying to do to her business through unjust taxes and charges, and inequitable rules and regulations. Liz became the local area delegate for the LTAQ and has spent the years since lobbying for the livestock hauliers on local, state and federal levels. Over the years, Liz has been secretary of the Cattleman’s Union, served on the Townsville Transport Safety Committee and has been an active member of Agforce, Transport Women Australia and the Road Freight Industry Council. In between she has raised a family.

In 2006, Liz won the Cummin’s Road Transport Industry Woman of the Year Award, and in 2007 was elected President of the QLD Livestock Transporters Association.