Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

NorthConnex Honours Engineering Pioneer Turia Pitt

Turia Pitt

Students from Loreto Normanhurst Primary School have named the NorthConnex project’s surface miner machine after Australian mining engineer Turia Pitt.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the inspirational Australian and former recipient of the NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year award was selected by Year 5 students who took part in a local competition to name the equipment after a woman who has contributed to Australia’s construction or mining industries.

“Loreto Normanhurst has partnered with the NorthConnex project team to help encourage students’ interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and this term they are learning about the tunnel,” Mr Fletcher said.

Federal Member for Berowra Julian Leeser said NorthConnex had commissioned two surface miners for the project, which are traditionally used to remove around 50 centimetres of rock at each cut from surface mines, similar to those in the Pilbara region.

“These machines have been brought to the NorthConnex tunnelling project to help excavate the bottom of the tunnels known as the bench,” Mr Leeser said.

NSW Member for Ku-ring-gai Alister Henskens said the students should be congratulated for their creativity and he hoped they would continue to take an interest in STEM subjects.

“These young girls will be part of the next generation of engineers, project managers and scientists leading the future of infrastructure in Australia and globally,” Mr Henskens said.

Turia Pitt was the name selected by student Tahlia Moses, due to Turia’s work as an influential role-model for young women and people everywhere.

“When I think of Turia I think of her grit and resilience. This inspiring young woman has a heart like no other; a courageous heart. I thought it was the best name for the surface miner,” Tahlia said.

The Australian and NSW governments have each committed $412.33 million towards the $3 billion congestion-busting NorthConnex project. For more information visit