Transit Systems and Transport for NSW (TfNSW) are celebrating the career of 85-year-old bus driver Lorna Hutchings after she surpassed 60 years in the bus industry.
“60 years in any industry is a remarkable feat and we’d like to congratulate Lorna on her hard work and dedication to serving the people of NSW,” TfNSW acting coordinator general Matthew Wilson says.
“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.”
Starting as the first female bus conductor in 1964, TfNSW says Hutchings has since become a trailblazer and an inspiration to many in her six decades of dedicated service.
Throughout her career, Hutchings has served in a wide range of roles, including bus and shed driver, inspector and duty officer.
“After the war years they decided to employ women, and I was the first female on the job at the Burwood depot,” Hutchings says.
“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.”
A mural, called Meeting Places, at the Burwood depot has also been painted to honour Hutchings’s career.
The mural features Lorna alongside an AEC Regent III double-decker bus from the year she began driving in 1974.
“When I first drove the double-decker, it was enormous. Without power steering and weighing only about 40kg, I doubted my ability to manoeuvre it,” Hutchings says.
“With no floors, dashboards, speedometers, windscreen wipers and no back doors, passengers occasionally popped off the back while we were on the road.”
Transit System’s NSW managing director Jamie Sinclair says Hutchings’s dedication to the bus industry is commendable.
“Her resilience, commitment and pioneering spirit have paved the way for many,” Sinclair says.
Hutchings marked the milestone with a 60th anniversary cake while surrounded by friends, family and colleagues.