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Year: 2015

Graham (Slim) Fennell was born on 23rd January 1945 in Robe, South Australia. Slim grew up in Robe, his father being a fisherman; however Slim was to choose a different career path, dedicating his working life to the transport industry.

Slim left school at the age of 13 and started work clearing land by tractor. As soon as he was old enough to obtain a drivers licence, Slim started carting pine logs in the south east of South Australia, an ex army GMC's being the standard machine used for this task in 1961.

Over the next decade Slim tried his hand at interstate livestock driving, before serving in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967. On returning from active service, Slim married Val and they moved back to the south east to make their home, with Slim once again working in the logging industry. This time it was transporting logs from the Mount Burr area using crane trucks, old American left hand drive Macks which continued to be used locally until the mid 1970s when the Government started to clamp down on ex Army style trucks, and the revolution towards current day machinery began.

In 1985 after a decade out of the transport industry, Slim returned to line haul driving, based out of Murray Bridge carting milk and general freight between Adelaide and Melbourne, before returning once again to the south east timber industry, to manage a logging contract.

In 1991 Slim and Val's brother Ronnie Nilsson tendered for their own contract and were successful, forming G & R Logging, basing the business on the outskirts of Mount Gambier. The company began as a small operation with three International S Lines and eight employees. Slim dedicated the next 20 plus years to building the business to a multiple contract operation, harvesting and transporting pine logs in the south east of South Australia.

By 2013 when Slim and Val decided to take a step back from the day to day running of the business, and hand over to their son and daughter, Barry and Wendy, the business had grown to be a major plantation hardwood and softwood harvesting and haulage company, operating 10 Kenworths over double shifts, employing 18 drivers and 45 employees in total.

Slim's lifetime dedication to the transport industry has spanned over five decades, and seen many changes within the industry over this time. A highlight for Slim has been the people he has met and worked with and the friendships he has made along the way.

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