Tale of trailblazing Aboriginal train driver

Recheal Daley followed in her father's footsteps by becoming a NSW train driver - in her case the first female Aboriginal - and now her story has been captured in a children's book written by Austinmer author Phoenix Van Dyke.

Ms Van Dyke has used humour and wit to tell the sometimes challenging real-life story of Ms Daley as she worked her way up from cleaning platforms to train driver - a job she had dreamed of since a small child.

From being forced to wear a uniform designed for men to adding her own colourful comments to boring rail announcements, Recheal made the most of every career opportunity - even if it meant a demotion.

"Would you wear a woman's uniform?" Recheal once asked her male supervisor when he chided her for not wearing the standard uniform in the correct manner.

"Despite being told as a child that 'girls don't drive trains', Recheal became a train driver just before the Olympics," said Ms Van Dyke. "She's very much a strong Aboriginal role model."

Ms Van Dyke said the book was the inspiration of Narooma community worker Tashe Long, who found there wasn't much choice on offer for Aboriginal children to read books about people to whom they could relate.

Aboriginal families can request a free copy online from tashelong@bigpond.com

Ms Daley now lives in Narooma and has retrained as a nurse.

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