It has been 45 years since Noel Vernon Smith joined Toll. Over that time there has been a lot of change; once a family business Toll is now proudly part of Japan Post, and has become one of the largest logistics businesses in Australia, and grown to become a global business, operating in more than 50 countries.
For Noel, his story started in 1974 when he began his career at Brambles before the site was acquired by Toll.
Noel’s first gig was working as a dockhand, before moving in to driving forklifts and cranes. Today, he works within heavy haulage as part of our Global Express business as a driver.
So, what has kept him here for over four decades?
“What keeps me here is working around a core of good people. In my opinion, work shouldn’t be a chore - they say “you should work to live” and not the other way around. When you have a great work environment it makes it easier to get up in the morning - it also allows you to start your day on the right foot, with a positive attitude that reflects towards our customers.” Noel says.
“The best part about working for Toll has been meeting people and forming some great relationships with colleagues and customers along the way.”
Over the last 45 years, Noel has certainly seen a lot of change in the industry. What was traditionally a very manual job, new technology has certainly been a game changer.
“What has changed? Where do I start...there has been significant improvement in the quality of vehicles - not only are they made better, but they are now decked out with the latest safety features.”
“Safety is certainly a priority here at Toll, so it has been great to see how a business really encourages this type of culture.”
“Technology has certainly improved - automation is definitely a big one. Machines are getting smarter and warehouses are using automation to make things easier.”
Noel isn’t the only one in his family that has been a loyal Toll employee - Noel’s dad worked for the business for almost 40 years, his son has almost clocked up 20 years and daughter, well she was with Toll for almost five years as well.
“It has been great to share this experience with the family - who knew we would all be working for the same company? We have each had our own experiences and stories to share which has been nice.”
“The job is definitely hard and physical, but it’s great - wouldn’t have it any other way. There has been plenty of work that has provided a sound financial basis to help raise a family.” he says.
Congratulations Noel on this great achievement - here’s to many more years.