'It will be my most emotional Lights on the Hill yet'
MARBURG'S Kristy Cullen says it's a good thing she won't be leading the Lights on the Hill Convoy in Gatton this weekend, because like every year, she will cry the whole way.
"It's still a dream of mine to lead the convoy and hopefully I can pull it together one year and make it happen,” she said.
"I'm really looking forward this weekend, Lights on the Hill is a beautiful feel-good event but every year, I'm a big sook.”
The Manager of Gatton's Australia Post and truck driving enthusiast is the woman behind organising Australia Post to lead this year's convoy for the first time, with their Australia Post Star Track semi.
"I've been with Australia post for 17 years, and we have trucks and we've lost drivers,” she said.
"It's an event very close to my heart because my brother was a truckie, so I saw first-hand what truckies go through.
"Now he runs Pro Drive in Ipswich which is a driver training school for cars and trucks. That's how I got into trucks.”
Ms Cullen decided to get her Heavy Rigid truck licence about five years ago and last October she went for her B-Double licence which is for a truck with two 50 meter long trailers.
This weekend's Lights on the Hill event will be extra emotional for Ms Cullen as she recently lost a very important person in her life to cancer.
"We've just lost one of the best truckers, Warren Carpenter,” Ms Cullen said tearfully.
"He was like an uncle to me... it will be my most emotional Lights on the Hill yet.
"I will have a banner on the front of the truck I will be in, which will be the second lead truck. Warren worked for Booth Transport for 40 years so he'd he has done over 10 million kms on Australian roads.”
This weekend marks the fourth Lights on the Hill for Ms Cullen - who described the event as a moving and safe way to pay your respects to the men and women past and present, who risk their lives every day on the roads.
"It brings community together and show we are one and that's how it should be,” she said.
"The trucking community is a big family, they all support each other and are loyal to each other... if you attend the memorial you will see what words can't explain, it's very emotional.”
"People complain about truck drivers but it's someone, but it's someone, it's a husband, it's a father, it's a son or mother or wife.”
Ms Cullen said she was proud to be a female truckie and happy to see more women behind the wheel.
"There's more women now and that's for sure and it rocks,” she said.
"I drove my brothers truck in convoy for kids and the amount of women who just sat up and just clapped me was amazing.
"If anyone sees me driving a truck they take a double take that's for sure. I do get a big kick out of it.”
The Lights on the Hill Memorial Convoy weekend will be held on Saturday and Sunday at Gatton Showgrounds and Lake Apex, for more information head to https://www.facebook.com/events/1294508883926444/ or see this week's Gatton Star.