Snowy Scheme Museum




AdaminabyOur HistorySummary 


The line-up of bulldozers at the Kennedy Bros dispersal sale

On the 6th April 2002 an historic event took place in Adaminaby.  The Kennedy family were to auction their unique collection of very old heavy equipment and trucks, mostly still in working order.  Fascinating, from a historical perspective, was that some of them dated back to Australia's most celebrated construction project, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme that began in Adaminaby in 1949 and was completed in 1974.  Cliff and Max Kennedy had been contractors on the scheme, retaining this machinery to support their local dam and road building business after 1974.

Collectors came from all over Australia to form part of the 2000 strong crowd with 600 registered bidders attending the auction. The event was documented in part by "The 7.30 Report", broadcast on ABC TV.

Harman Face Shovel

A month before this, a group of district residents formed a committee aiming to retain as much of this history as possible in Adaminaby. In a frantic scramble before the auction, the committee raised $40,000, which enabled them to purchase 8 of the 10 items earmarked as most historically important. TD24 and BTD6 bulldozers, a Le Torneau Scraper, a Harman Face Shovel, an Albion Tipper, a Manhaul towable bus, a tunnel testing Dome Plug and a unique V shaped snow plough now form the basis of our collection.

Harman Face Shovel

The committee structure was formalised and is now a fully incorporated body, with tax-deductible gift recipient status. The committee researched most of the recently constructed museums in Australia.  Throughout the process, discussions were held with inaugural committees and project officers to gain a better understanding of the establishment and management of museums. As a result, the committee put together a number of Strategic Objectives, these being that they would:

  • Create a sustainable community enterprise, which tells the story of the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme;
  • Establish a regional museum in Adaminaby - a year round attraction, highlighting the early days of the project with significant examples of the machines and materials used to build the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme;
  • Ensure the Museum will provide employment, increased visitation and economic benefit to the Adaminaby community and the Snowy Mountains region;
  • Inspire youth to consider engineering as a career, through understanding of the achievements and the construction of an international engineering wonder of the world.

The committee identified a magnificent site on the Snowy Mountains Highway, close to the centre of Adaminaby. Snowy River Shire Council is leasing the land to the ASSC.

Grants have been received from the Federal Department of Infrastructure and the State Government Heritage Fund. A number of local fundraising activities have been extremely successful including the opening of the Museum Op-Shop and setting up the Friends of the Museum. Considerable "in-kind" donation of services, such as architecture, engineering, design, planning, fund-raising and project management, are being provided to establish the museum.

All committee members are volunteers.

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