Snowy Hydro is excited to announce the winning names for two of our Snowy 2.0 tunnel boring
machines (TBMs) – Kirsten and Florence.

Students in the Snowy Mountains were invited to nominate groundbreaking Australian women in the
fields of science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) for the Snowy 2.0 TBM Naming
Competition. Almost 3,000 people voted on a shortlist of six influential women, with astrophysicist
Kirsten Banks and electrical engineer Florence Violet McKenzie receiving majority votes.

We congratulate the two students who nominated these influential women: Kobe Burnes (Brungle)
choosing Kirsten Banks and Riley Douch (Berridale) selecting Florence Violet McKenzie.

Our student competition winners will receive prizes including a visit to the Snowy 2.0 construction
site to see their named TBM before it goes underground and a VIP experience for their class at the
Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre in Cooma.

The three Snowy 2.0 TBMs now all have names, with the first already titled the Lady Eileen Hudson,
in honour of the original Snowy Scheme ambassador and wife of inaugural Commissioner, Sir
William Hudson.

Tunnel boring machines are always named after women, a tradition stemming from the 1600s when
miners working underground prayed to Saint Barbara for protection.

Snowy Hydro, with its commitment to inspiring students to become the next generation of
innovators, asked local children in school stages 3-6 (years 5-12) to highlight the achievements of
inspiring Australian STEM women as part of the Snowy 2.0 TBM Naming Competition. More than 70
nominations were received from 15 schools throughout the Snowy Mountains region.

Kirsten Banks is an astrophysicist, science communicator and proud Wiradjuri woman. She loves to
share her passion for the stars and is well-known for her short and entertaining TikTok videos about
space and astronomy. Currently she is doing a PhD in the field of galactic archaeology, studying the
stars of the Milky Way to uncover secrets of its formation and evolution.

Florence Violet McKenzie (1890 – 1982), Australia’s first female electrical engineer, is best known for
her contribution to women’s technical education and for creating the Women’s Emergency Signalling
Corps during World War II. She taught women telegraphy so they could replace men in this civilian
occupation, however, she also trained more than 12,000 servicemen in morse code.

Find out more by visiting