The Snowy Hydro Electric Scheme began construction in 1949. Many migrants with engineering and construction skills we targeted to come and work on the scheme. As 98% of the scheme was underground, it involved a lot of tunnelling through solid granite walls. Many migrants did not survive the conditions and the stress of having families back in Europe, meant a lot of men bought out their contracts and returned home to be with their families. For others it was an opportunity for a new life in Australia. When the workers’ wives came and joined them in the townships, they had to work hard to overcome hardships and establish a community. Many of the dwellings were not suited to the freezing conditions of the mountainous region in which they were working.

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