Woman who set the wheels in motion for female drivers on Sydney buses27th November 2020
Ms Lusk, now 91, who was photographed by the Herald in 1970, was selected with eight other women to undergo training following a driver shortage in the late 1960s.
By April 1970, a motion was moved by workers at the Waverley depot to support women’s rights to drive buses.
“Subsequent meetings at other depots led to the union requesting the Commissioner for Transport to change the department’s policy,” Ms Fontana said.
While female drivers make up only 5 per cent of the driving force, Ms Fontana said there were hundreds of others engaged in other roles across the city.
One of those is 82-year-old Lorna Hutchings, who started driving buses when she was 33. She was the first female bus driver at Burwood depot and still works as a duty officer for Transit Systems at Kingsgrove depot.
“I’ll never forget my first day on the job. The men didn’t want to work with me as they said I was taking their jobs,” Ms Hutchings said.
“Walking down the stairs at Burwood depot, they were all looking at me and I thought, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ But I loved the job and I’ve made some great friends in the industry over the years.”
Start your day informed
Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald’s newsletter here, The Age’s here, Brisbane Times’ here, and WAtoday’s here.