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Year: 2015

Steve Grahame's career started as a prospecting field-hand, then drilling. This required a truck licence and with the legacy of his father's skills with heavy machinery and a family background with livestock. He began forging a place in the transport industry first carting livestock, then supplying communities across a vast area of Australia, delivering building supplies and equipment for fundamental necessities that they depend on for their survival. Steve works to a principle: you do what is necessary to get the freight in, and undamaged, otherwise there's no point.

As an exponent of long distance haulage at its most extreme and challenging, what Steve does requires skill, experience and determination. His work extends from the Pitjantjatjara land in northern South Australia, up through the Northern Territory and across the Kimberley region of Western Australia, areas that give the word outback its meaning.

Nearly every year Steve has driven the famously challenging Gibb River Road, and is a familiar visitor to Kalumburu, Balgo and other communities in outback country. His contribution to the industry isn't easy to measure. It comes in at millions of kilometres accumulated over more than 30 years.

Steve now has a circle of friends that stretches across Australia, but in the background it has been a tough apprenticeship. In the beginning, with a young family in Perth, he faced the personal hardships that work can bring with it, dealing with constant separation, gruelling schedules and financial challenges. It took time and experience to develop the business skills necessary to be a successful contractor, while at the same time strengthening his knowledge of the trade itself. Time spent in livestock cartage was good grounding for off-road driving, involving as it did the need to access unestablished roads with heavy trucks.

Steve has preferred American trucks, his choice of bigger, stronger trucks like the C501 Brute, being more efficient for that kind of haulage and meets the demands of the territory he has to cover. His work has been recognised in a recent documentary Outback Truckers, for his exceptional contribution to the industry.

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