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Two groundbreaking Queensland women have been recognised as part of Brisbane's $5.6 billion Cross River Rail project as it moves into the construction phase.
Else Shepherd AM was Queensland's first female engineering graduate, going on to become the chair of Powerlink, while feminist Merle Thornton AM, who introduced women's studies at the University of Queensland in 1973, is best known for a protest at the Regatta Hotel.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey with Queensland's first female electrical engineering graduate, Professor Else Shepherd AM. CREDIT:TONY MOORE
Ms Thornton and Rosalie Bogner chained themselves to the hotel's bar in 1965, protesting against the exclusion of women from public bars around Australia.
Now two multimillion-dollar boring machines used to carve out the Cross River Rail tunnels will be christened Merle and Else in recognition of the women's achievements.
The machines will be lowered into the ground at Woolloongabba in early 2021, with each digging a tunnel under South Brisbane, the Brisbane River, the Queensland University of Technology and Albert Street towards Roma Street.
The Merle and Else will eventually emerge at Normanby late in 2021.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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