The ability to tell little nuggets of information that are bound up by emotion, I think is what defines us as human beings. It’s the way that we truly know people – when they tell us stories about themselves and let everything hang out.
George Dawes Green – Smith Journal
We get to employ some fabulous people at Intermodal Staffing and that makes our job all the more enjoyable. Brett Hall, B-Double Linehaul Driver is one such character. Professional, friendly, and multi skilled, we spent 10 minutes with Brett to see what makes him tick.
10 minutes with Brett Hall
by Daniela Bücheler-Scott.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Curious. Happy. Confident.
Where did you grow up?
Darwin. I left in 2005.
How did your Mum and Dad meet?
During Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Dad was fixing the power in the shelter where they met.
Why do you drive trucks?
It’s in my blood. My dad was a mechanic in Darwin and bought his first truck when I was 2 years old. His business was called “Hall’s transport”, which he sold in 1996. His main routes were up in the Northern Territory – Darwin, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, Mt Isa. My cousins and 2 uncles also drive trucks.
Are you married?
Yes, to Megan. We met at High School when I was 18.
What is your cultural background?
Both my grandparents are from the Stolen Generation. My grandfather’s name is Marithyel, hence this is our tribal name – originating from the Daly River region, 250kms SW of Darwin. My ‘skin name’ is Mungatje. In Aboriginal culture there exists a complex kinship system that determines how people relate to each other. We gain a skin name at birth as part of a moiety system, which indicates the section you belong to.
How do you keep Aboriginal culture alive?
We have an Aboriginal art gallery, which I bought with Dad in 1996. Through the trucking business Dad and I have many contacts with Aboriginal artists up north. http://www.aaia.com.au. I also occasionally play the didgeridoo.
How do you relax?
I listen to music. Mainly house and electronic music. But I also like country music, which Dad listened to when I was with him in the truck. I did some DJ work up in Darwin for 6 years before I moved to Melbourne. The other ways I relax are going to the gym, drinking beer, going to cafes, cooking, shooting and fishing – Dad and I used to fish on aboriginal land up in NT.
You mentioned shooting. What kind of shooting are you talking about?
Trapshooting. I started competing when I was 13 up until 2001. I was in the State team and won a few championships in my time.
What motivates you?
Discovering new things eg. new music, new truck equipment, new places, camping holidays and my dogs. I have 2 Rottweilers – Phoebe and Pasher (below); I was housesitting for a friend in Darwin once and he breeds Rottweilers.
What does driving a truck mean to you?
A few things: 1. Easy money; 2. Interesting vibe; 3. It’s an important service to the community; 4. I understand and respect the profession.
Has trucking improved over the years?
The new National fatigue laws have changed the focus from moving the maximum amount of product as quickly as possible to moving product as safely as possible. Bringing in salaries has also contributed to safety by allowing a slower pace.
What’s your favourite food?
At the moment – lamb ribs prepared in the slow cooker; and Mount Zero Mixed olives.
What do you eat/snack on in the truck?
Prosciutto, olives, frittata, dried nuts and fruit, dates, watermelon, apples, oranges.
What’s your favourite route?
Adelaide because it is short – despite the rough surface and single lane. I also like going to Sydney because it is nice smooth road, even though it’s 2 hours more.
What’s your favourite movie?
What’s your favourite read?
Mostly non-fiction eg. Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and Bill Bryson’s books about Australia. I liked the fiction novel Shadow of the Wind – real character-building stuff.
If you had kids what would be the 3 most important values you would teach them?
- Empathy, be aware of other people’s feelings.
- Understand your feelings.
What’s always in your truck?
My music-plug in iphone, my snacks, my cushion for my back and my wedge to sit on.
Do you have a special talent?
Shooting, DJing and I’m pretty good on the didgeridoo. I have taught kids how to play at school.
What’s one of your proudest moments?
Performing the didgeridoo at the National Gallery during a Gala Ball for the guests of the Queen Mary ocean liner.
What’s one of your most embarrassing moments?
Performing the didgeridoo at the National Gallery in front of all these people in a loin cloth and painted limbs.