GELLETT, Roger

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.

Roger Alan Gellett had a motor repair business in Kununurra, Western Australia until one day his wife’s uncle, Gallarruy Yunupingu, came to visit in 1988 and Roger asked him for a job.

Gallarruy offered him the job of workshop supervisor in his transport and mechanical business in the small mining town of Nhulunbuy. Roger ended up buying the business and Roger’s Transport Pty Ltd was born in July 1992.

The company started with two rigid trucks, one semi-trailer and two forklifts and grew to eventually own a fleet of: seven trucks, four trailers, two forklifts and one backhoe. The backhoe was often used to dig graves in the outstation communities around Nhulunbuy; a task that had formally been done by hand which is no easy feat in the hot humid heat of the tropics. The company had the nick name of “Roger’s Gorillas” and the advertisement in the local paper read: “Roger’s Gorillas can move anything”. Roger and his “gorillas” did every form of transport there is, from general freight, removal work, earth moving and anything that was required.

The East Arnhem Land country is very rough and unpredictable particularly in the wet season. Delivering stores to an outstation one day resulted in the front axle coming loose and the truck lying on its side. Roger’s Transport operated for 15 years until Roger’s wife, Bronwyn; became ill and he retired to look after her. The trucks and equipment were sold to two of his employees, Tom Brown and Lynsey MacIntosh, who later married each other and changed the name of the business to T & L Transport Pty Ltd. Today Tom and Lynsey do much the same work as Roger did.