Meet Ana Scandlyn 

Tanker Operator, Fonterra 

I grew up and went to school in Gisborne where I also started my career selling Lotto tickets and hiring out DVDs at Blockbuster video – I loved it!

Just two days after turning 21, I left home and moved up to the Waikato with my lovely partner, Rachel where I continued to work across number of customer service jobs to save money for some overseas travel to Sydney and Canada.

Unfortunately, I returned home with a broken wrist from snowboarding in Canada (thank goodness for travel insurance!) and my good friend John said I would make a pretty cool truck driver. Bay of Plenty Polytech at the time had a truck licence course going – so I signed up immediately!

I vividly still remember the first day of class where I looked out to the main drag and said to a fellow classmate, “I’m going to drive milk tankers after this.” And surely enough after a few classes and a few other jobs, I made the leap to Fonterra 11 years ago. I absolutely love driving around the countryside and working with many so many wonderful people who have become my friends.

I’ve looked up to Thora Holzheimer for as long as I can remember. Also known as ‘Toots’, she was a pioneering truck driver in Australia, traveling millions of kilometres from the 1960's to the 1990's.

She’s remembered by so many for her practical nature, her ‘can do’ attitude, and passion for her profession. Her gender never held her back even then. She is such an inspiration.

I'm incredibly lucky as a gay woman in a heavily male dominated industry to not have who I am affect my ability to get ahead. At no point was I passed over or talked down to for being who I am. I say the word ‘lucky’ because I know not everyone is so fortunate.

Everyone should be free to be their best selves regardless of gender, race or background and they should have their voices heard. It's important for everyone to have the tools and opportunities in order to become their best selves, as we all have so much to offer.

My proudest moment to date would have to be representing Fonterra in the Auckland Pride Parade driving New Zealand’s first milk tanker, ‘Milk-E’. I was so excited to be a part of it and being around so many smiling rainbow faces is something I will never forget.