McHugh, Siobhán

The Snowy Scheme was an extraordinary engineering feat carried out over twenty-five years from 1949 to 1974 – one that drove rivers through tunnels built through the Australian Alps, irrigated the dry inland and generated energy for the densely populated east coast.  It was also a site of post-war social engineering that helped create a diverse multicultural nation.

Siobhán McHugh’s The Snowy reveals the human stories of migrant workers, high country locals, politicians and engineers.  It also examines the difficult and dangerous aspects of such a major construction in which 121 men lost their lives.  Rich and evocative, this prize-winning account of the remarkable Snowy Scheme is available again for the 70th anniversary of this epic nation-building project.

‘This classic work is the last word on the extraordinary human, industrial, ethnic and social event of the Snowy River Scheme. The tales of the men and women involved were more diverse than for any other Australian phenomenon, and Siobhán McHugh conveys the varied tales of humans spread by it all over the Snowy Mountain region with a humane historian eye.  If you want to have a passing knowledge of the making of modern Australia, you should read this tale of an era when Australia dared to have a vision.’ — Thomas Keneally

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NewSouth Publishing, May 2019.  368 pages, paperback