Transport for NSW and Transit Systems are celebrating the incredible career of Lorna Hutchings, 85, as she celebrates 60 years in the bus industry.
Starting her journey as the first female conductor in 1964, Lorna has become a trailblazer and an inspiration to many in her six decades of dedicated service.
She marked the milestone with a special 60th Anniversary Cake, surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues.
In a career spanning various roles such as bus driver, shed driver, inspector, and Duty Officer, Lorna’s resilience and determination has seen her break down gender barriers in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
Lorna has also been immortalised in a massive outdoor artwork at Burwood Bus Depot, where she was the first female bus driver.
\The mural, called “Meeting Places”, features Lorna alongside an AEC Regent III doubledecker bus from 1974, the year she began driving.
Transport for NSW and Transit Systems are proud to honour Lorna Hutchings for her dedication, infectious spirit, and six decades of service that have left an indelible mark on the bus industry.
“After the war years, they decided to employ women, and I was the first female on the job at Burwood Depot. I got nine pounds a week, the same as what the men earned, and a huge gap from the usual women’s pay of five pounds a week,” said Lorna Hutchings.
“When I first drove the double-decker, it was enormous, and without power steering, and weighing only about six stone (40kg), I doubted my ability to manoeuvre it,” she said.
“With no floors, dashboards, speedometers, windscreen wipers, and no back doors, passengers occasionally popped off the back while we were on the road.”
“There was an incident where I came close to being arrested, during my time at the Harold Park Races. A passenger told a Police Officer that I was trying to pinch the bus. Luckily there were other bus drivers around to explain, as the Police Officer didn’t know there were women bus drivers,” Lorna added.
Transport for NSW acting coordinator general, Matthew Wilson said that sixty years in any industry is a remarkable feat and he’d like to congratulate Lorna on her hard work and dedication to serving the people of NSW.
“Lorna’s tenacious spirit and determination has changed the bus industry for women and more broadly, she’s paved the way for more women in the workforce,” Wilson said.
“She’s an inspiration here at Transport and we’re lucky to call her one of our own,” he added.
Transit Systems NSW managing director Jamie Sinclair said Lorna’s dedication to the bus industry is truly commendable.
“Her resilience, commitment, and pioneering spirit have paved the way for many and Transit Systems is proud to have her as a part of our legacy,” he added.