Posted in:

The Snowy: A History, New Edition

This anniversary edition of the story behind the Snowy Mountain Scheme, has surprisingly been written by an Irish Journalist. She also was surprised to be asked. When Siobhan McHugh arrived in Australia, she instantly embraced the casual nature of the people, the climate, and the large contingent of Irish people who lived here. Some had families had arrived with the First Fleet.

By recording oral histories and researching as many written accounts of the formal Parliamentary discussions and reports, the author has created a magnificent saga. She has stunningly interwoven the stories of Politicians and labourers. She delights us with a time gone by when a resume, written on the back of an envelope, gave a man one of the top jobs for the multi-million-dollar project. He was indeed the right man for the job.

There are stories of the many migrants who came to Australia, some with expertise, some with muscle and fortitude. One young German man, when asked why he joined the army section to come to work on the Snowy replied” I hoped the food would be better than at the Orphanage.” The Prime Minister, Robert Menzies stated that, “Australians had been handicapped by parochialism, by a slight distrust of big ideas, big people and big enterprises.” After the completion of the Snowy Scheme, confidence in Australian abilities soared.

In 1962 the Snowy Mountain Scheme was hailed as one of the engineering wonders of the world. At the time of inception there were few engineers qualifying from Australian universities, and most had little experience. They were insistent that they had the skills to develop this project and made sure that time and accuracy were of paramount importance.

Reading this Australian story makes one appreciate the community who developed from the early days the incorporation of all who wished to join in, and the attitude of positivity that developed and flourished.

Author Siobhán McHugh
Publisher New South Publications
ISBN 9781742236223
Distributor New South Books
Released May 2019