Meet Emma. Knowing Emma’s parents for many years I have been watching her career quite closely. I loved that someone so young was so eager to launch herself into a career that is so male dominated and take it all in her stride. Now to see her driving around in trucks is equally as awesome. Recently Emma delivered some stock to our property. Now bare in mind these are my daughters words of what happened so hopefully I don’t lose you in the technical lingo. Kaitlin said “she came up and around in front of the ramp. Then she backed back both trailers straight onto the ramp, like first go and it was perfect. Then she said she’d only had that licence for a week! Most of the men can’t even do that” Kaitlin is impressed. In my opinion Emma is a fire cracker that is going places and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
NAME: Emma Godsell
JOB: Livestock Truck Driver/Metal Fabricator
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE? Like most people in the ag industry, I don’t have a “normal day”. My days can vary very differently from day to day, let alone week to week. There are our standard sales days every week, in which we take sheep or cattle to, and they can vary week to week with how many we cart to the sale yards. We also have to throw in abattoir runs and property to property movements. Livestock cartage makes up 80% of our work, with the rest being general freight. We cart wool, hay, machinery, fertiliser, and probably a few other things that I can’t think of.
I normally don’t like to find out what I’m doing the next day until the night of, because things change so much these days.
When I’m not in the truck, you can normally find me in the workshop. Whether I’m repairing, building, or even just messing around I’ve always got something to do. A lot of people thought I had given up my trade to go drive trucks, but that definitely hasn’t happened! I’ve worked too hard to get my trade and to get where I am now with it. So, when I get a bit of free time, I like to keep my hand in the trade that has taken me so many places and taught me so much!
HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUR JOB? I left school the year I turned 17 to start my metal fabrication apprenticeship, which I achieved through YR 11 work placement. The company I worked for dealt in grain handling systems and basically anything to do with grain, so I have been within the ag sector since I started my working life. Jumping into a livestock truck is a bit different to welding and fabrication, but I was ready for a change. Sometimes you just want to do something a bit different and I was ready for a new challenge.
I work for my parents, and was lucky enough that they had a truck spare when I asked them for a job. I was only going to do it as a semi – temporary job, until I found something else that I wanted to do. But now I have myself a Kelpie working dog who is not quite trained yet, so I’m committed to the job now! I like to spend a fair bit of time with him, training him to work sheep in the truck. I have learnt most of what I am training him to do from the much more experienced stock carters I have come across. I love it!
WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING ONE OF FEW WOMEN IN YOUR INDUSRTY? Now this I get asked a lot, nearly once a week. In all honesty, lack of female co-workers doesn’t worry me one bit. I have “grown up” since I left school being one of very few women in my trade. Its nice to see other women do the jobs I do because they aren’t the easiest! Metal fab is hard on your body, and can be very trying at times, and livestock carting is much the same. You need to be able to handle the decks in the stock crate, but also be able to work livestock, which isn’t as easy as some people think it is. Especially when you got to load a cow or steer that wants to eat you through the cattle yards. I love a good challenge! I learn from all the fellas around me, and then if needed, I make slight adjustments so I can make it
easier on myself. It means I can get the job done just as efficiently.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE AG INDUSTRY? This is a tough one. Everyone has their own opinions about what direction the ag industry should go and how it should be done. I hope that in the future, it isn’t forgotten. A lot of people my age are moving to the cities or into town because life on the farm is “hard work”. And yes, it sure can be at times, but like life, it’s what you make it. My hope in the future is that there are still enough people around to keep our strong agricultural business’ alive and flourishing for years to come.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOU YOUNG GIRLS OR WOMEN WANTING TO JOIN THE AG INDUSTRY? I would give them the same advice I give to young girls and women about getting into the metal fab industry, or just a trade in general. HAVE A GO! What’s the worst that can happen? If it doesn’t work, you’ve just found something that doesn’t fit you, so then you can look at other options. Don’t get me wrong, I was knocked down a few times before finding my apprenticeship. But in the process, I was able to find what was going to suit me for a start. And look where we are now!
My answer for this question changes every time I am asked, which can be numerous times a year.
Different life experiences change how you perceive certain things in life. So, if you ask me this question in about 12 months’ time, I could nearly put money on it that it would be different.