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From the road to the courts

A former truck driver and driver trainer, lawyer Mandy Reid has been assisting other truck drivers with all manner of legal issues.

She started her driving career in Auckland, New Zealand, over 25 years ago, with a unique trailer combination that incorporated both a crane and tipper. 

“I started driving trucks in NZ in 1997 and was one of the few female truckies in Auckland. I was pretty much an all-rounder, with overhead gantry crane and forklift licences as well,” she said. 

When Reid first came to Australia in 2001, she secured a job as a tow truck driver in Brisbane before moving to Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory and working as a qualified driver trainer at the Rio Tinto mines. 

Upon returning to Brisbane, Reid assisted with the training of drivers in trucks and forklifts at Bundamba. 

But as she explains, despite her passion for the industry, the mind was willing, but the body wasn’t. Instead, she turned her attention to law and has been helping a broad range of clients, including truckies, ever since. 

Reid began her law degree in 2008 while still continuously working and juggling family life with three daughters. 

She was admitted into the Supreme Court in 2015 and made the switch from driver training to working at a law firm, where she remained for the next three and a half years, before establishing her own firm called Athena Law in 2019. 

“We opened with the Brisbane office, but then Covid hit and it slowed us down. Last year we added the Kingaroy office and now we have eight offices across Queensland,” Reid said.

“I don’t like to limit myself to sticking to one area. If someone needs help, it doesn’t matter where in Queensland the court is. There’s no limitation of where we will work for our clients. I specialise in Criminal Law but do all manner of general law too.”

Reid is assisted by her colleague Bob Glen, who has over 30 years’ experience working within the court systems and is extremely knowledgeable in all areas of law including Road Traffic Law and Criminal Law.

She says that when a truckie has a legal issue to deal with, she can understand the challenges they go through, because she’s been behind the wheel too. “Truck drivers get the rough end of the stick a lot of the time, even when it’s not their fault, they’re always copping it for something. 

“If a truckie has a legal issue, they can always call us up for a free 20 minute consultation. Then we can work from there and tell them if we can help them out. I’m always very up front and approachable, and I don’t take things personally. I know what they are talking about and where they’re coming from.”

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