Anna Jamieson - Transport Supervisor

Published on : 5/27/24
  • Trading the bustle of Sydney for a remote Western Australian mining town was the catalyst for Anna Jamieson’s best adventure yet. A mother of six, Anna was meeting her newest grandchild in Leinster, 368km north of Kalgoorlie, when her daughter asked: ‘Why don’t you just move out here?’

    And she did just that—packing up her home and moving herself and her two youngest to the remote town within weeks of her decision. 

    Tired of Sydney and the monotony of her previous job, she thought a change of scenery would do her good. Fast-forward 19 years and more than 1,100 kilometres away from her original Western Australian ‘stomping grounds’, Anna now oversees arguably one of Sodexo’s most challenging transport routes as the company’s Transport Supervisor for the Coastal and Robe Valley region. 

    In this role, she oversees a portion of the 210-strong fleet Sodexo manages, which travel more than 5.8 million kilometres annually, safely transporting more than 3 million residents in the Pilbara region.  

    A ticket to ride

    When she relocated to Leinster in 2005, Anna was confronted by what many people moving to remote towns face—a lack of job opportunities. 

    With most jobs available in mining, there were limited opportunities in town for someone who had previously been a supermarket merchandiser. That changed after a woman who worked in the local store suggested Anna put her resume in for bus driving. 

    “Of course, my skills were very different, and I hadn’t driven a bus before, but I thought ‘Why not?’” Anna said. 

    The same ‘why not’ attitude that led her to move to Leinster saw her call the mine’s management, introduce herself, and throw her hat in the ring. 

    “I said to them: ‘My name is Anna; I live in Leinster and plan on being here for five years. I don’t have a Heavy Rigid (HR) licence, but need a job— are you interested?’”

    “To my surprise, they referred me on to get my HR ticket.”

    The next day, Anna was at the local police station applying for her ticket, and within 48 hours, she was taking her first bus out for training.

    “Of course, the verification process is different nowadays, but I am grateful for being able to get stuck in quickly,” Anna said. 

    Within weeks, Anna realised she’d fallen into a career pathway that she loved—experiencing a sense of freedom and adventure behind the wheel, while connecting with the people and customers who joined her on the journey.

    Updated routes

    After 12 years behind the wheel, Anna’s skills and experience were renowned in the area. When Sodexo started developing their transport in the region, they knew there was just one woman for the job.

    As a bus driver on the most challenging routes due to distance, environment, and weather—Anna quickly proved herself an invaluable member of the team. It wasn’t long before she was overseeing the transport department, imparting knowledge that only comes from years on the road. 

    “When I was stepping up, I was tested on procedures to follow through hypothetical situations. With each situation, I had about two or three follow-up questions. Nothing is so cut and dried in the Coastal and Robe Valley region—the direction of a storm cell can be the difference between roads being flooded or a clear run,” Anna said. 

    “I feel my considerations and knowledge were what gave me the leg up in the early days,” 

    Of course now, while Anna continues to be a font of knowledge, she is also the central point of contact for a team of up to 60 drivers, including site-specific supervisors—directing routes, rostering, and ensuring that every resident in the region gets to their work site or village safely.

    “Safety is a huge consideration for Sodexo, and it comes out in everything that we do. When thinking about transport, it isn’t just a matter of getting people places. We have a responsibility to look after every person that sets foot on our vehicles, so that they are delivered safely from camp to site, and from site back home to their loved ones,” she said.

    In for the long haul

    Anna’s time with Sodexo hasn’t been without its bumps. Overseeing transport for the Coastal and Robe Valley region—a region that covers Wickham to Karratha right down to Pannawonica / Robe Valley—throughout COVID-19 restrictions meant that work across the board was challenging. 

    “But we persevered, came together, and got through it and thrived,” Anna said. 

    When reflecting on the development she has experienced with the team, Anna says she is proud to wear the Sodexo uniform. 

    “I find Sodexo to have really inclusive attitudes—and that’s why I’ve stayed here,” she said. 

    “They believe in what they say and have a real community spirit that comes through on-site level. When you are living and working with people so closely, it’s certainly interesting! There are so many backgrounds, personalities, and values to be mindful of, but everyone ultimately shares the same sense of comradery. 

    “I must say that Sodexo has its heart in the right place when it comes to creating a positive work environment where everyone feels included and valued. Our leaders prioritise the well-being and satisfaction of their team members, and it reflects in the overall positive atmosphere” 


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