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Course aims to get more women trained to drive trucks

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TRANSPORT Women Australia's higher profile is leading to increased membership and the opportunity for more girls and women to take a serious interest in a career in the trucking industry.

And a women-only course being run from Wodonga TAFE, in association with Linfox, Australia Post, Volvo and the TWA, has proven so successful it is hoped it can be rolled out nationally to have more women in training to drive the heavy vehicles.

But as TWA chair Jacquelene Brotherton points out, this will dependent on funding, a discussion that may have to wait until after the May 18 Federal Election when we will know "who is holding the purse strings”.

The third group of women that went through the training - drivers from Linfox and Australia Post - graduated on March 29, and the plan is that the course can be expanded to include a small operators' group to allow one or two drivers at a time to take the course.

"But the course needs to go national,” Ms Brotherton said.

"We've had a lot of interest from other states. We need extra funding to do that.

"It has been a very successful venture. All the partners we've worked with so far are keen to put more people through. They're amazing people to work with. There is a lot of interest in it but we do need to find a way to take it nationally.”

Ms Brotherton said the course had generated a lot of interest from women to find careers in the transport industry as a whole, while the TWA board has been expanded to five, allowing the association to have a greater visibility in the industry.

"The (TWA) board I have now is really outgoing,” she said.

"We have started going to a lot of truck shows and started growing our membership through that. Even though it is our 20th anniversary year, many people have not known about the association.

"And women are now finding a pathway into it [the industry]. They're now seeing people who can show you this is where you're going to go.

"I think that will grow as girls can see they can do that.”

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