Wells Waggons bus driver Colleen Hinds was commended for her 30 years of service to the industry at the Tasmanian Bus Conference in Hobart last week, despite having actually worked at the depot for 32 years.
“It was actually my 30 year anniversary in 2019,” Colleen explained.
“But Kimbra forgot to nominate me, and then they didn’t have a dinner in 2020, so I’m finally getting my certificate now!”
Working as part of the family business since she was 25, Colleen has done her fair share of bus runs, driving morning and night for most of her time with the company as well as working as Office Manager in the depot five days a week.
Starting out her work part time, doing the school runs and then working as a postie between shifts, Colleen started on the Trowutta Run before moving on to the Stanley run, and now drives the Upper Scotchtown bus.
She says that though managing her passengers can be a unique challenge at times, she loves what she does and knows that she is lucky to enjoy getting out of bed and coming to work each morning.
“It’s all a matter of getting the respect of your passengers,” she said.
“You’ve got to be a bit like a teacher at teams, you have to be the boss and you have to learn how to get on their level.”
Having driven the same routes over long periods, Colleen has grown quite fond of many of her passengers as she watches them grow, and is now on to her second generation of students.
“It’s so crazy to be picking up the kids of some of the students I used to drive to school . . . it makes me feel so old!” she said.
Reflecting fondly on her long career, Colleen says that she is aiming to hit the 40 year mark, but says she will take whatever life throws at her.
“You never know what’s around the corner,” she said.
“I’m very grateful to be able to do what I do, and to work closely with my family. You wouldn’t do a job for 30 years if you didn’t enjoy it.
“I’d have to be very sick not to come to work.”
As part of her Office Manager duties Colleen manages the runs, does the rostering, pays the accounts and answers the phones.
Since taking up the role, Wells Waggons has expanded to a second depot in Wynyard, ferrying students from around the area to Wynyard High School.
Colleen Hinds was commended for 30 years of service by incoming Tasmania Bus President Peter Seabourne at the annual Tasmania Bus Conference in Hobart.