THE working career of Colleen Stuart began in a time very different to now.
Mrs Stuart took time out of celebrations to mark 40 years working for VicRoads to reflect on her decades in the job.
“It’s funny looking back,” Mrs Stuart said.
“When I began girls were not allowed to wear jeans or trousers to work, it was not the done thing. Men had to wear trousers with a shirt and tie. Shorts had to be worn with socks to the knees and a shirt and tie also.
“We had a tea-lady come around each morning and afternoon to make us a cuppa at our desk. We had workshops with mechanics and gangs of workers out in the field.
“It’s only when I look back and realise the changes that have occurred I realise the significance of the time frame.
“Going from a paper-driven, handwritten work environment to watching the electronic world come in.
“It’s great to be able to look back on the organisation and know that in some small way I have been a part of it all.”
Mrs Stuart was 17 when she began working for what was then the Country Roads Board in 1976.
She began as a typist for accountant Bill McConnell, under the direction of divisional engineer Frank Lodge.
“I was just in awe that I had been given a chance at such a highly regarded organisation,” she said.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years, the time has flown by.Colleen Stuart
“It was a role everyone aspired to get. It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years, the time has flown by.”
Mrs Stuart met her husband Leon during her first year in the job. He was working as an apprentice mechanic in a workshop at the time.
The couple now has two adult sons and three grandchildren.
“I guess I initially thought that once females were married they had to leave their job, it seemed to be the way of the world at the time,” she said.
“That was until I realised it did not happen and that I could keep working, which is what I did.
“I still enjoy coming to work each day and doing my role to the best of my ability. It’s only when I look back over the time that I realise I have been here for quite a while.
“It’s been an awesome ride so far and I look forward to whatever comes our way in the future.”