William Llewellyn Lewellin, known as “Bill” was born in August, 1917 and spent most of his early life in Essendon, Victoria. When the Second World War began, Bill enlisted in the Australian Military Forces and served overseas for 1,030 days. Having seen action as a “Rat of Tobruk”, Bill received numerous decorations and awards upon his homecoming.
Like many returned soldiers, Bill sought employment opportunities wherever they came up and he was prepared to relocate interstate for a job. Highly experienced in transport and mechanical systems, Bill travelled to Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and joined Kurt Johannsen’s driving crew. Bill’s wife, Valda, and their three children moved up later.
As a transport pioneer in the region, Kurt was a lateral thinker, with strong entrepreneurial skills and was highly regarded by his employees. Kurt’s crew were known for their resilience and skill needed to manoeuvre the huge road trains over rough dusty bush roads. Kurt and his team were at the forefront of a new way to transport cattle for pastoralists and to cart supplies to stations and communities. They certainly played a part in opening up the region and fostering social and economic growth for many.
Bill eventually returned to Victoria and spent the rest of his working life in various sectors of the transport industry.
He passed away in December, 1973.
Inducted in 2021