Tag Archives: International Women’s Day

Where we get our inspiration …

What have I learnt from my children?

In honour of International Women’s Day, we share some thoughts about what being a mum means to some of the ladies that connect with rt health fund.

Children learn by what they see

‘My girls are now almost 21 and 19 and over their lifetime, I have learnt (finally) that they really do learn things from you by watching the way you do things again and again.

In order for them to live happily and healthily, I realise that I need to be living that way too. If I don’t love myself enough to look after myself well, that’s what they will learn too. You know that safety instruction that you’re given on airplanes about putting on your own oxygen mask first? Well I understand that this is so important in so many ways …

My children have brought me to the peaks of joy and pride, and to the depths of despair and frustration. So I guess you could say they have also taught me to be resilient.’

Fiona Riley, Transport Women Australia Ltd (TWAL)

Fiona’s daughters Lauren in pink and Morgan in black
Fiona’s daughters, Lauren in pink and Morgan in black

A child’s smile can lift you from the worries of the world!

‘My children have taught me that no matter what is going on in our lives, that the smile of an innocent child can make all the worries in the world disappear – even if only momentarily!’

Katrina Jorgensen, Queensland Rail

Katrina with her sons Cooper and Joshua
Katrina with her sons Cooper and Joshua  

Be there!

‘What have I learnt from my children? One of the biggest factors is the value of being ‘present!’  No amount of gifts can make up for not being there when your children need you.’

Lisa Acret, Queensland Trucking Association Ltd. 

Lisa with her son Mitchell
Lisa with her son Mitchell

I now know that if it is to be …

‘I have learnt a couple of things from my children …

  1. If it’s to be, then it’s up to me …
  2. Self-belief. My children have shown me the importance of being the best you can be. Have dreams and ambitions and then do what you can to bring them to fruition.’

Maureen Paterson, Encompass Credit Union

To be a better person

‘I have learnt some very important lessons from my two daughters, most of all to not be selfish.

Having to be totally responsible for these precious girls and raising them to become independent, selfless women has made me take a good look at myself. And I am still learning from them! I can definitely say that I am certainly a better person for having them.

My mum reminded me the other day that family and relationships are all that matters. And it’s true.’

Jen Bogaart, rt health fund member 

Jen with her daughters Emersen and Layla
Jen with her daughters Emersen and Layla

Excitement for the future

‘What I feel that I have learnt most from my beautiful seven-month-old son so far is that joy and innocence still exists in the world that we live in.

Seeing life through his eyes is so very refreshing. It really is the simple things in life that matter. I feel so blessed to have a happy and healthy son whom my husband Brenton and I adore beyond measure and would do anything for. I’m sure that every parent feels exactly the same.

I am so very excited for the future and all of the milestones to come as we watch little Oliver grow up and experience the wonderful journey of life.’

Rachael Tickner, QRI Lifestyle

Rachael and Brenton with their son Oliver
Rachael and Brenton with their son Oliver

It’s about patience and understanding

‘I am blessed to be the mother of four wonderful children (two amazing adults and two school-age children) and have learnt many things. But one of the most significant of these is the need for patience and understanding.

My children make me stop, listen and really appreciate the important things in life. Children feel happy and secure when they have good friends around them and I have learnt to appreciate the comfort that comes from friendship, both in their lives and in my own. I enjoy the funny things they do, we laugh a lot. And, I love joining them when they are being creative – it helps keep me feeling young.’

Mary Mason, rt health fund member

Patience is a virtue

‘As a mum to three beautiful children, I have learnt to cultivate patience – which I really didn’t believe I had in me. I have also learnt not to assume anything, not to jump to conclusions and to understand that things are not always as they might seem at first.’

Linda Rollason, rt health fund member

Sharing life, love and counsel

‘My children are now adults in their own right – loving and capable wives and mothers. I have learnt that you cannot love too much or give too much of your time, presence or counsel, and that I am still a part of their lives as they will always be a part of mine. I know that, to them, it is very important that I take care of my health and remain active and that they want to know about and be a part of my life, just as I want to know what is happening in their lives and my grandchildren’s lives. These are the things that are important to me.’

Maureen McAlorum, rt health fund member

Maureen with her granddaughter, Bianca
Maureen with her granddaughter, Bianca

Sharing life, love and counsel

‘My children have taught me to not hold grudges. A stressful morning of spilt cereal, half-dressed children, forgotten library bags and meltdowns over lost, adorable purple unicorns can all be forgotten when they give you a hug and tell you that you’re the best mum in the world. Or, they flash a cheeky smile with a freshly picked flower in their hand!’

Ali Rees, rt health fund member

Ali, her husband Brett and their children Nevaeh and Travis
Ali, Brett and their children Nevaeh and Travis

This message is brought to you by rt health fund’s Strategic Business Development Manager, Rebecca Delahaye and Key Account Managers; Alison Weatherill, David Stock and Cassandra Reynolds.


International Women’s Day

Social-Media-International-Women's-Day-15To celebrate today, International Women’s Day, we asked women in the transport and energy industries what inspires them personally and professionally. While they each come from different backgrounds and work in different roles, they are all leaders in their field and demonstrate that women are an integral part of today’s workplace, even in industries that are traditionally male dominated. So be inspired by what inspires these fantastic mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, colleagues and leaders!

Triple inspiration

Kathryn Tomlinson_resized‘There are three women who inspire me every day because they all ask, ‘what can I do?’

My mother, who at the age of 79 is the unpaid President of a St Vinnies Op Shop where she manages over 50 volunteers.

The public figure, Quentin Bryce, who has just handed down her report ‘Not now, Not ever,’ putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland.

And, the mother of Luke and Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, who has found the courage to speak out against domestic violence.

All of these women inspire me to be a better person and to focus on the part that I can play, to make the world a little better, too.’

Kathryn Tomlinson, Consultant, Health and Wellbeing, Organisational Performance and Risk Corporate Operations, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Recognising women in the workplaceMich-Elle Myers_resized

‘Despite the maritime industry being male-dominated, women play an ever-growing and vital role within it.

This day is important to recognise how essential women are to all workplaces; whether it be the wharf, the deck, the emergency room, or the truck driver’s seat.’

Mich-Elle Myers, National Women’s Liaison Officer, National EAS Coordinator, Growth and Campaigns Team, Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).

Shining a light on our amazing industry

Sharon Middleton_resized‘Knowing how vital the road and transport industry is to everyday life inspires me to strive for excellence and professionalism, so our industry is viewed in a positive light in the broader community and the business and government sectors.’

Sharon Middleton, Director, Whiteline Transport; President, South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA); Australian Trucking Association (ATA) National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year 2013; and part of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.

Positive changes add up to a lot

Jenny Fellows_resized‘Family and community are my inspiration. Living in a relatively small community, the strength of the community never ceases to amaze me. Every individual has a story and these inspire me, particularly people who achieve a lot in their lifetime. The positive changes and contributions that an individual or group can make to their communities also encourage me.’

Jenny Fellows, Fellows Transport, pictured with her youngest son Tom and her nephew, Will.

Because everyone is an equal

Kathy Sutherland_resized‘What has inspired me personally and professionally is hard work, honesty, learning from mistakes, learning from others, treating all as equals, empowering colleagues to learn and grow and not being afraid to take chances in my career (something I’ve learnt far too late in life!).’

Kathy Sutherland, VP, HR APAC Cab and Vehicle Assembly, Volvo.

For the good of a great industry

‘I have been inspired by a variety of people over the years and I suppose it is all about having a better industry and lifestyle. Being a small operator, I had wanted to support/mentor other small operators, particularly those women managing their various businesses while their husbands/partners were away driving and earning a living.

In thePam McMillan and Sharon Middleton_resized early 90s Bruce McIver – then the Road Transport Forum (RTF) Chairman – absolutely inspired me to try to do great things, and to know that it WAS possible.

Phyllis Jones is also an inspiration to me, she just gets in and does stuff, no fuss and bother and age is no barrier.

Noelene Watson inspires me with her no-nonsense attitude and the struggle it was for her losing a husband and just getting in and taking over her business and raising a family, and then getting involved in industry organisations for the good of the industry. These people are all selfless and don’t promote themselves for accolades which I believe is an admirable quality in anyone.’

Pam McMillan, DP Haulage, pictured with Sharon Middleton.

Inspired by drivers, inspired by their families

Tracie Dickenson_resized‘Although I became involved in this industry by default (falling in love with a truck driver), it is one of the most challenging industries I believe exists. I am inspired by the drivers and their families. I believe they do not receive the recognition they deserve. I know there are certain drivers who may taint the industry but there are far more good drivers than not.

It is important that we recognise and encourage women in our industry, as I believe women are very capable of many aspects in the transport sector. I am very proud to say today that my daughter Betina spoke at the annual Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) Women’s International Day Breakfast with two other very inspiring women who all spoke about how to make it happen. I am hoping to continue to look at ways to involve both the youth and more young women in our industry and work on keeping them with us throughout their careers. Transport is not for everyone, but once you become involved, it’s very hard to leave such a great industry.’

Tracie Dickenson, Daryl Dickenson Transport.

Courage, positivity and passionElaine-Felstein_resized

‘Personally, my late mother’s courage, positive attitude and determination to overcome her battle with cancer inspired and continues to inspire me every day. Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to work with talented and innovative people who have inspired me to stretch beyond what I thought was possible and encouraged my passion for life-long learning. This has inspired me professionally.’

Elaine Felstein, Senior Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator, Energy Skills Queensland.

Inspiration is all around

Katharina Gerstmann_resized‘My professional inspiration is no different from my personal inspiration and it is everywhere, in the strangest places… Thoughts about how to improve a process, create a more cohesive team, add a service offering, entice a member or create a sales opportunity. It may strike at anytime or happen while attending a non-related industry meeting, reading a newspaper or journal, daydreaming, or talking with colleagues about their experience. I would encourage everyone to just be ready for when you may be inspired!’

Katharina Gerstmann, Senior Associate Transport / Market Segment Lead Rail, Beca.

A passion for life

‘My life experience in the transportation industry has been extraordinary! I have Jacquelene Brotherton_resizedtravelled to many countries and visited many transport and associated businesses within the industry and met incredible people who share my passion, which inspires me.  Although not a natural choice for most women, the transport industry has enabled me to fulfil most of my life ambitions.’

Jacquelene Brotherton, Transport Manager, Oxford Cold Storage.

Personal and professional inspirationJulie Puttockdriver trainer for NSW Trainlink, who is also an RTBU delegate and member of rt health fund_resized

‘Personally, my mum inspires me, being a cancer survivor. My kids also inspire me daily to be the best mum that I can be. Professionally I am inspired by aiming to be the best in my role as a driver trainer and to be someone that people can look up to.’

Julie Puttock, Driver and Trainer, Sydney Intercity, NSW TrainLink and RTBU delegate, pictured with her children Jess and Cameron.

Inspiration through life lessons 

‘I have learnt that life can change in an instant and that inspired me to cherish every moment. Living with my foster siblings, who had gone through some terrible times, was inspiring growing up as I saw that people can get through whatever obstacles come their way and they taught me compassion and deep love.

Heather Jones - credit Tony McDonough 2_resized
Photo credit: Tony McDonough

Being in an abusive marriage as a young mother of small girls, I learnt to walk my own road. I made a choice not to be a victim but a survivor and to take charge of my life’s direction. I became a professional truck driver and took my girls on the road. I wanted to share this fabulous career with other women, which lead me to start my own business, Success Transport. In 2014 I co-founded Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls to showcase the incredible achievements of women in the transport sector and to encourage more women into truck driving careers.

In the words of Hillary Clinton, ‘Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world’, so let’s use them!’

Heather Jones, Director, Success Transport.

Professional and personal strength

Jodie Broadbent_resized‘I have been inspired by a lot of women in the trucking industry. Women like Noelene Watson, who have a ‘just deal with it’ no-nonsense approach to their work and life, have been great to learn from. Watching people like Noelene, who has dealt with some tremendous issues in her life, I have learnt that it simply does not matter whether you’re a woman or a man. Achieving what you need to, efficiently, safely and capably, is what’s important, in business and in life.’

Jodie Broadbent, Manager, Road Freight NSW.

Brought to you by Strategic Business Development Manager, Rebecca Delahaye and Key Account Managers; Alison Weatherill, David Stock and Cassandra Steen from rt health fund.