Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2008.
Neville and Shirley Hawkins are one of Australian trucking's most enduring couples. They met in 1952 and married in 1954.
Neville's grandfather, Bartholomew, founded Hawkins Road Transport in 1921, initially operating from Brisbane to Ipswich in opposition to the rail, and then expanding to the Darling Downs.
Harold Hawkins, Neville's father took over the business in the early 1940s but ran it down.
Neville inherited big debts and old trucks when he took over the business but he was determined to make a go of it. Harold and Shirley, they enthusiastically set about the task of rebuilding the company, from the ground up, through sheer hard work and determination..
It was hard work in those first years but Neville and Shirley worked long hours and tirelessly getting the business back on its feet. "We paid off the debts and within a couple of years had a fleet of seven new trucks," says Shirley. Looking back on that period of their lives and where the company stands today as a highly successful family enterprise, Shirley adds with conviction, "Obviously we were born with enthusiasm and a strong sense of adventure." Many others would not have tried.
Today, Brisbane-based, Hawkins Road Transport is still very much a family business with a fleet of 70 prime-movers and more than 170 trailers hauling fuel, produce and general freight. Their three daughters, Anne, Kerry and Roz all have key roles in the company, with Roz in the CEO chair. Their son John, who established the Hawkin's depot in Townsville, has since left the business to live and work in the USA.
Today, the Hawkins Family Group now employs in the vicinity of 200 staff and operates a diverse range of businesses: Hawkins Road Transport, Moreton Island Ferries, Hawkins Fuels, Truck Stop and Truck Wash and Brick Creek Banana Farm.
Neville spends much of his time today on the road piloting a Cummins Signature-powered Freightliner which he thinks is a great truck and Shirley spends her time on a variety of activities and helping out where she is able.
Now in their early 70s, Neville and Shirley still love driving their beloved trucks fully-loaded across Queensland, and are happy to say that it's a love that they've been able to pass down to their children and grandchildren.