Author(s): Donna Vawdrey
Toots Holzheimer, a hard working mother of eight, drove trucks for a living from the 1960's to 1990's across some of Australia's most inhospitable terrain, Cape York Peninsula. Toots delivered freight to the northern tip of Australia for over thirty years, servicing her own trucks, loading them by hand (without a forklift until the late 1980s) and then driving for days alone. Toots and her husband Ron constructed their own roads and built their own bridges, renewing them after each wet season. Without bitumen roads, Toots battled corrugation, melon holes, washouts and bull-dust. Flies and mosquitoes were her constant companions as she dug her way out of bogs or coaxed her `Old Girl', a M.A.N. diesel truck, up and down the steep slopes of the Great Dividing Range. Nothing raised Toots' ire more quickly than someone telling her what she could or couldn't do. Attitude was what mattered to Toots, not gender. Toots attributed her success in life to her determination to `Do what you want to do and do it well'.