Close this search box.

At 62, Amanda is Training to Become a Truckie

Female trainee truck driver standing in front of a truck
Female trainee truck driver standing in front of a truck

Truck driving is ‘a lifestyle, not a job’ – a lifestyle that 62-year-old Amanda Secombe is happy to roll with!  Previously working as a travel agent for 30 years, Amanda’s work was impacted greatly by COVID, along with caring for her husband who sadly passed in 2021 from bowel cancer. Returning to the travel industry after a couple of years away from work, Amanda soon decided she needed a career change.

In early 2022, Amanda purchased a minibus with the view of converting this into a mobile home. To drive the bus though she needed her Light Rigid (LR) licence. Her son, who works in the transport industry, talked her into getting her Heavy Rigid (HR) licence instead, as it was the same cost.

After gaining her HR licence, a friend of hers who worked for a bus transport company in Brisbane, convinced her to come work for them which Amanda did for a couple of months. However, living on Macleay Island, shift work was proving too difficult in this role.

Amanda’s son, who makes decent money working as a truck driver, convinced her to upgrade her licence and become a truck driver.

With support from BUSY At Work’s Apprenticeship Network Provider team, Amanda was signed into a truck driver traineeship with Farrell Transport Limited, where her son works. Here she will be earning and learning on the job to enable her to drive heavy transport trucks.

“Because I don’t have a lot of experience in driving trucks, where my son works, they put me on as a trainee truck driver. So, I will be spending my days working with him for a while. While I’ve got my licence to drive a truck, it’s not all just about the driving, it’s the reversing, the tipping etc. So yeah, I’m a trainee truck driver!”

Currently, there is a high skills-demand for the logistics and supply chain sector, and the industry is seeing more and more women signing up.

Amanda says, “Being in a male-dominated world, you need to just ‘put it to the side’. I’m quite a girly lady with long fingernails (cut short now) and can get easily offended by male behaviour. But I think the best strategy is to just put it to the side. For other women I would say, don’t be afraid to pursue a career like this – there is so much work out there too!

“The driving school I went through said that half of the people they are training now are women. I’ve spoken to a few guys lately in the industry who say that they would rather hire women, they’re not aggressive on the roads, they look after their trucks better because they want a clean and tidy environment to work in. At the end of the day, your truck is your office.

“I also had a great conversation the other day with a lady at the weighbridge and she mentioned that more and more women are driving through now which is great.”

Cassandra Horan, General Manager for BUSY At Work’s Australian Apprenticeships Support Network, said, “Amanda is an inspiration not only for women looking to enter a male dominated trade or the transport industry but for anyone considering a career change regardless of your age.

“With current skills shortages in many male-dominated industries, we’re seeing more and more women entering trade roles and industry employers embracing this shift. Many employers are applauding the qualities women bring to their workplace, including different perspectives and ideas that lead to better performance.”

Find out more about BUSY At Work’s Australian Apprenticeship Support Network services.

Search for apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities in your region.

Find out more about BUSY Sisters, a mentoring support program for women entering male-dominated industries.

Skip to content