Mid-wife and nurse
Why did you choose a career as a bus driver?
For many years I worked as a mid-wife and nurse in an environment that had many procedures, schedules and a rigorous routine for the safety of our patients. Unfortunately, I was involved in three catastrophic events in the labour ward which left me dealing with shock and grief. At the same time my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. These events were shattering, and I experienced PTSD for some time.
Avoiding work was not an option and I came across an advertisement to work as a bus driver with on-the-job training. I have always loved driving. I knew I could drive long distances because I had previously lived in QLD and would often drive 1500 kms non-stop to visit my parents. As I’m an older nurse, I was also used to on-the-job training and so this suited me very well.
So, I thought, why not apply? I couldn’t think of a reason not to, and I applied. It was the best decision I made, and I have not looked back!
What do you love most about being a bus driver?
After four years of working as a bus driver, one of the best things about the job is that when I walk into the depot, my colleagues ask me how I am, and I love this. We care about each other.
I enjoy the camaraderie, you can winge, rave, smile and laugh and everyone is accepting – it’s a lovely workplace culture. I feel supported by my supervisors and co-workers and I feel part of the family. I also really love to drive and when I get into the driver’s seat of the bus, I find myself saying “yeeesssss”! And I love a full bus because COVID was very boring.
I am very happy working as a bus driver driving the B-Line, because I find the work relaxing and enjoyable. I don’t suffer the anxiety that I used to. It’s a social job but I don’t repeat the same thing every day. As a midwife I had to communicate the same things on a daily basis, breastfeeding tips, handling babies and other things that new mums needed to know.
As a bus driver, you don’t have to talk non-stop. I have lovely chats with my passengers about their day and week but then I focus on the driving. On the bus I can relax and be with myself and I love this. In between shifts I catch up with my co-workers to discuss our days.
At the moment we’re all working a little too much because we need more staff. This occasionally makes us a little more cranky than usual, but it still doesn’t cloud anybody. We’re all happy to do the work until the business finds more suitable staff.
How do you maintain your work-life balance?
One of the joys of working in the Mona Vale depot is the understanding I have from my supervisors. For example, the hailstorm of 2018 decimated my house. My father lives with me and he was not able to do any of the tasks needed to repair the house and this was a very stressful time. Keolis Downer gave me the shifts I needed so that I could be home in the morning which helped me to get life back to normal. I returned to full time work when the house was fixed.
At that time, I did all night shifts which I found peaceful. There was no traffic to worry about and busloads of cheerful people at night.
I love the five weeks I get for holidays, and then I can also get another four weeks purchased leave. I have plenty of time for myself.
How does your work help you to help your community?
I often pick up the same people at the same time on the same day, so you get to know them. We chat about their day, their family and what they’re up to. I have seen my passengers at the shops and it’s like I’m meeting my friends, the interaction is wonderful. I had someone give me an origami crane because there were genuinely grateful for my service.
You get to make a difference in people’s lives. I noticed one of my passengers who was looking unhappy for a few days, and I asked him if he was OK, and he was grateful and surprised that I was concerned. I see the same people every day or every week and I appreciate that these people are from my community. My passengers rely on me to get them where they want to go safely and comfortably, and so I look out for them.
”I walk into the depot and I say I’m glad I came here tonight and that I’m doing this work. I’m really happy.
Autonomy, work-life balance and supportive team culture
Our bus drivers enjoy autonomy, work-life balance, a supportive team culture and social connection. With a potential to earn up to $90K (full-time average), we give you onsite training with a recognised qualification, so no experience is needed. You just have to love to drive!
Part-time, full-time, casual, and job share options are available. Other benefits include a FREE license upgrade, health and wellbeing programs including Fitness Passport for you and your family, staff rewards and discounts, and more. Start the journey toward a fulfilling and rewarding career today. You won’t look back.