Determination to succeed drives Ebony-Rose

Former teenage skateboarding champion Ebony-Rose Bielby has become one of Cleanaway’s youngest drivers at the age of 21.

Our People

November 15, 2021


"No matter what gender you are, strive for your dreams and goals. Be ambitious and make it happen.”

Tags: Drivers

"No matter what gender you are, strive for your dreams and goals. Be ambitious and make it happen.”

Ebony-Rose Bielby has “always been a driven person”.

This admission is not meant to be a clever play on words, despite the fact she has just become one of Cleanaway’s youngest truck drivers at 21.

It also points to her achievements, which include excelling as a skateboarder when she was a teenager, and obtaining fitness training qualifications and a forklift ticket.

Pictured: Ebony-Rose in front of her truck

But obtaining her heavy rigid (HR) truck licence may be the icing on the career cake for Ebony-Rose, who joined Cleanaway in September 2020 in the Hobart branch of Cleanaway’s Liquids & Technical Services business.

“This is my favourite job so far. I reckon it’s the team I work with, more than anything. I do love the work. but having a great team to do the work I love is sensational,” Ebony-Rose says.

Hailing from Seymour in regional Victoria, she started riding a skateboard at 13, reaching a standard that attracted sponsorship and the opportunity to complete in the United States.

Unfortunately, a broken leg put paid to that competition and other injuries took their toll, but she has retained her links with the sport as a coach at skate parks in Hobart after moving to Tasmania in August 2019.

After joining Cleanaway, she worked in a warehouse, as a ‘co-ee’ (co-passenger) in a truck and a forklift operator before being encouraged to go for her HR licence.

This meant adjusting to a vehicle which is 12 metres long, more than four metres high and has a maximum load, when a forklift is attached, of 27 tonnes.

She passed with flying colours on Friday 5 November. A colleague in the same branch, Lucy Fenner, 21, has obtained her learners permit to drive a truck.

“A few years ago I would not have thought I would be a truck driver but my manager always encouraged us to take any opportunity we could to excel and achieve our goals,” she says.

“It’s gut-dropping the first time you do this. It took me a handful of times to relax.

“It’s not that different to a car, just more elongated, but you have to take your corners wider. You get a lot of cars cutting you off. You have to be cautious.”

She has received only positive feedback from colleagues, family and friends at news that she has become a truck driver, and paid tribute to Leading Hand Jared Andrew and former Hobart LTS Branch Manager Benjamin Mooney for their encouragement.

“I’m also looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with our new manager David Elliott,” Ebony-Rose says.

“It’s really great to have that support. It gives me a lot more confidence and motivation to achieve my goals and knowing I can rely on my family and friends to support me, means a lot. My mum raised me to pursue anything I wanted to do.”

As for advice for any other women looking to make this step into what has to date been a male-dominated industry, she says: “Just go for it. If you have an opportunity to it, back yourself. Just believe in yourself. It’s like anything, practice makes perfect. No matter what gender you are, strive for your dreams and goals. Be ambitious and make it happen.”

Are you in Victoria and looking for a career change? No experience required! We’re proud to announce Cleanaway’s Driver Academy for Women aimed at paving the way for women to be a part of the waste management industry. We’re seeking eight women to participate in an intensive 13 weeks of paid training to get your Heavy Rigid (HR) licence followed by ongoing learning for the next 12 months. Find out more and apply here