REX HELLIWELL was born in 1957 and grew up on the family wheat and sheep property north of Wubin. He left the farm to do a heavy diesel mechanic apprenticeship before returning to the property. Droughts and economic times saw him return to his trade.
Rex worked on the family property and then on road construction projects in the off seasons. In 1979 he commenced work with McMahon Construction and worked on various projects throughout Western Australia on the Great Northern Highway. In 1984 Rex moved to Alice Springs to work for McMahon Construction on numerous road projects - on the Stuart Highway in SA & NT, the Barkly Highway NT, Peterman Highway (Lasseters Highway), Victoria Highway, and various internal territory roads - Mereenie Oil Field (Mereenie Loop), Kings Canyon, Borroloola Bing Bong, Oenpelli, Pine Creek and Mary River.
After a number of years in the bush Rex returned to the Alice Springs base workshop and became leading hand, workshop supervisor and then finally to NT regional plant manager. As Highway 1 became sealed all around the country the major road project drew to a close, and with the '87 share crash McMahon Construction changed its business structure. Rex and his young family went back in the bush in road construction camps on the Great Northern Highway. After 15 years Rex settled back in Alice Springs to take up employment with the local Caterpillar dealer Hastings Deering. The next 15 years saw Rex as a fitter in the workshop, leading hand, service supervisor and finally branch supervisor where he forged some great relationships within the transport industry with likes of the late Dean McBride, the late George Fitzgerald, Ken Brown, Allan Rogers, the late Les Dehne and Peter Gilbert to name a few.
Rex worked tirelessly with Caterpillar Reps, John Holiday and Allan Wilkinson to achieve the best result for Cat truck engine and the transport operators. Rex became involved with NC2 - the new Caterpillar truck, and supported the reps at a local level to make the sponsorship at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame was as successful as possible.
Today, Rex works for Dylan Blake at the Penske / Western Star dealership - Central Diesel Service in Alice Springs. He enjoys spending more time with his partner Debra Boundy and their grandchildren.