Artists, authors and athletes celebrated on new River Class ferries

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Some of NSW’s leading artists, authors and athletes have been selected to lend their names to Sydney’s new fleet of 10 River Class ferries with the first four vessels arriving in Sydney this week.  

“All of the River Class vessels have been named after notable individuals who have helped shape NSW culture through art, literature and sport, with three authors, three artists and four athletes selected by Transport for NSW,” said Transport for NSW Chief Operations Officer, Howard Collins.

“The first four vessels will be named after artists Esme Timbery, Margaret Olley and Olive Cotton, and author Ruby Langford Ginibi.

“The remaining vessels, which will arrive in Sydney later this year, will be named after authors Ruth Park and Ethel Turner, footballer Cheryl Salisbury, netballer Liz Ellis, basketballer Lauren Jackson and wheelchair track and road racer Kurt Fearnley.”

Pauline Mitchell, the daughter of author Ruby Langford Ginibi, said the naming of the ferry was a beautiful tribute to her mother.

“Having mum’s name on a ferry has put her back in everyone’s minds for carving the way for all Aboriginal people today. We are grateful that our beautiful and powerful mum can be honoured in this way. It means so very much to us.”

Olive Cotton’s daughter, Sally McInerney, said that her mother loved the sea.

“Many of her photographs were taken at beaches around Sydney during the 1930s and 1940s. When she married and went to live in the country far from the coast, people would ask if she ever missed her city life and professional career, but the only thing she admitted to missing was the sea.

“Olive’s family is sure that she would have been surprised, gently amused and extremely appreciative at being included in the excellent company of the Sydney Ferries fleet.”

The first four River Class Ferries are due to start final testing, commissioning and operational readiness activities in Sydney Harbour in the next few days. Transdev Sydney Ferries will also commence crew training, after which a date for the vessels to enter service will be determined.