July 8, 1975: Women's Lib breaks new ground

July 27, 2017

One individual has struck a mighty blow for Women's Liberation.

Judith Laws (17) is determined to step out for the united women's front.

She has just created history by entering the all-male field of the PMG as a linesman.

Judy is the only girl in Victoria and one of two in Australia at present completing the course. 

Judy attended a linesman's course at the PMG training school at Doncaster and along with Ruth Harriman of Gosford NSW, represented the female population.

She has successfully completed the first half of the course, which was theory, and will now complete tje second half of the course, which involves practical work, and is earning and learning at the same time. 

She is based at Shepparton. 

Judy will go back to the training school for various courses, and hopes to graduate at the end of the year as a Linesman Grade One.

But no one's taking pity on that fact that she's a girl, or that the temperature this morning was well below warm, or that it was her first day - instead Judy spent the morning digging trenches for telephone cables. 

From now on her work will consist of either digging further trenches or fixing and maintaining telephone lines. 

Judy was brought up on a farm in Kialla, and definitely prefers to work outside.

"I wanted an outside job, not a office job and when I saw this advertised I thought it would be goo," and so far, "it's been almighty," and Judy's "really enjoying it."

Judy doesn't intend to play on the fact that she's a girl and will do exactly as she's told, which she hopes will be exactly the same as the other linesman in training. 

Judy is pictured above at a terminating box - a box where external and internal cables meet.

In another couple of hours, Judy was out digging trenches with the other linesmen - no discrimination. 

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