SMITH, Janelle (Nellie)

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.

In 1983 Janelle Smith and her new husband Max decided to purchase a trucking business from Peter Royter. It proved to be a hectic period for Janelle over the next few years. She obtained her HC licence in May 1984, gave birth to her son Shaun in 1986 and in 1988 her marriage dissolved.

By now Janelle had done plenty of driving and was known as an experienced and professional road transport operator. In 1990 she was offered a position with Jim Pearson Transport in Port Macquarie and on 12 September 1990 did her first trip to Newcastle with woodchips down and bricks back. She was soon doing four round trips weekly from Port Macquarie to Sydney and was often called upon to help run the Sydney depot when staff went on holidays. Jim Pearson Transport had been established in Port Macquarie and had quickly grown from a single truck to a fleet of over 100 prime-movers with depots in Sydney, Brisbane, Taree and Kempsey. From 1998 to 2000 Janelle shared the same truck with Col Munro.

In 2001 Janelle worked at an egg farm but continued on a casual basis with Jim Pearson Transport. During this time Janelle enjoyed her time with son Shaun receiving much support from parents. Feeling a little unsettled in 2003, Janelle took Shaun to Queensland for five months and returned home with a new job driving for Dave Robson in a Kenworth hauling Sydney to Brisbane twice a week. She later started with Robbie Baker doing changeovers on the Sydney or Brisbane run. From late 2004 until 2005 while working at an egg farm and at Woolworths on night fill Janelle still did one trip per week with Robbie Baker. In 2008, with 25 years driving experience behind her, she was offered a position with Michael Calleja driving a Mack Superliner. This job lasted two years and was a very demanding job with trips to Sydney and Brisbane, and sometimes Melbourne, all week.

Janelle worked for Michael Calleja for two years before returning to Jim Pearson Transport in 2010 where she now operates a B-Double and drives Port Macquarie to Grafton four nights a week and to Brisbane every Thursday night. Janelle says she feels settled in the job and loves driving her B-Double.

For all her years of driving Janelle has managed to successfully achieve a balance with her work, family and social life. She has retained her femininity without compromising her expectations of the job and is a great ambassador for the women in such a demanding male dominated industry.


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