Bree had always wanted to be a flight attendant, travelling the world and exploring new places.
But after two years plying domestic and short-haul international sectors, she was struggling to break into her dream job of long-haul international flying.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Aussie mum Bree shows before and after she became a truckie.
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So the Sydney mother-of-two swapped her passion for travel – from the skies to the roads.
“I thought, ‘I’ve been everywhere in Australia you can go that’s got an airport’,” the 30-year-old tells 7Life.
“There’s only so many times you can go to Perth or Bali and get excited.”
Leaving behind the so-called ‘glamorous’ air-travel role, the single mum to a 10-year-old son and six-year-old daughter worked to secure her truck licence.
She began her trucking career driving a tilt tray truck – moving heavy objects, from excavators to “roller” containers, all over Sydney.
“You name it, I’ve moved it,” she says.
But she was no longer in a female-dominated industry, becoming one of the only women around.
As Bree routinely navigated building sites, she was on the receiving end of sexist comments.
“Being on construction sites was really hard,” she says.
“The men would wolf-whistle and cat call all the time.”
New to driving, she would sometimes make mistakes – errors which were attributed to her being a woman, rather than her rookie status.
“It’s like you don’t know what you’re doing because you’re a girl. That’s the instant assumption,” Bree says.
“If a man runs a truck into a wall, it’s, ‘The poor guy, he was so fatigued’.
“When a girl does it, it’s, ‘See, this is why girls shouldn’t drive’ and ‘she mustn’t be experienced’.”
So Bree entered the waste industry, driving a semi-trailer carting refuse around Sydney.
The sexism followed her.
“It was the same,” she explains.
“They (men) would be on the radio, carrying on – as soon as they hear a girl on the radio, they’re on there saying the most horrible things.”
She was also told “You’ll never last in the waste industry”, despite her having “thrived” for the 12 months she was there.
“You’re walking around in gum boots, knee deep in people’s waste,” she explains.
“I took that job because they gave me a semi (trailer), and I absolutely loved it.
“Twelve months is a solid time for someone that ‘wasn’t gonna last’.”
Bree says she would have stayed in the waste industry but her truck licence was upgraded – allowing her to drive larger, double-trailer trucks.
She now hauls 26-metre B-doubles around Sydney, moving general freight and refrigerated food – and loves it, despite the 12- to 14-hour days.
“Going into truck driving, I thought I’d be an interstate driver, driving from east to west,” she says.
“Four years later, I just travel around Sydney driving really big trucks.
“I love it. I love the challenge of it. I love the fact that Sydney is such a challenging place to drive around, especially in such a big vehicle.”
And the bigger the rig, it seems the greater the respect – for the six months she’s been driving B-doubles, she says she’s never experienced sexism.
“It’s a different world I’m in now,” she says.
“It’s still all men but (they’re) just a different breed, they’re so supportive and they think it’s so wonderful.
“The company I work for now is a huge company and everyone wants to help you and see you succeed – it’s fabulous.
“I say to girls, if you can push through the early stages of your smaller licence and get to the bigger ones, it does get better.”
Female truckie life
The mum has gained more than 26,000 followers on TikTok after posting videos on what life is like as a female truckie.
“I use it to show that women are just as capable of doing anything a man can do, and we can make it all the way to the top,” she says.
“Since using TikTok, I have connected with other women in men’s industries – from trucking to concreting and mining.
“It’s a great platform to reach out and show people.”
Bree also shares some of the comments she has received as a truck driver.
“There’s no way a girl like you drives a truck,” she captioned one video.
“(I) don’t suit the general ‘female truck driver look’, I think that’s why I do get that a lot.
“When I’m outside of work, and I tell people what I do work, they don’t believe me.”
Because of the long and gruelling hours, Bree leans on her parents to help look after her two children.
“My mum is my best friend and without her I would absolutely not be where I am now,” she says.
“They are so supportive of my job and so proud to have a daughter that’s doing something like this.
“They just think it’s fabulous.”
She says it’s a “real juggling act” to look after her children as well as navigate long working days.
But with her job, the mum has been able to provide for her family, earning a six-figure salary.
She hopes that, by sharing her experiences, more women may be drawn to enter the industry.
“There’s nothing a man can do that I can’t, absolutely nothing,” she says.
“I’ve had to really work hard to be able to prove that I could do whatever any man can do.
“I really think women need to know that, you can do it in a man’s industry.
“Why not come and do this – you’ll get paid more, your eyes are open to a whole other world.”
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