Snowy Scheme Museum




AdaminabyOur HistorySummary 


The Snowy Scheme Museum is a regional museum on the Snowy Mountains Highway in the town of Adaminaby. It is located on land provided by the Snowy River Shire Council specifically for the purpose. The initial equipment exhibits have already been purchased, donated or pledged.  Items of interest continue to be acquired.  Further exhibits will be added as time and funds permit.

Exhibits will tell the story of the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme and what life was like on the Scheme . The collection already consists of significant examples of the machines and materials used to build the Snowy Scheme. Exhibits will concentrate on the stories of the Snowy workers and their impact on Australia, especially on modern Australia's migration program.

The Snowy Scheme was truly an awe-inspiring project. Nowhere, up to now, has there been a comprehensive attempt to bring all its stories under the one roof, complete with a collection of huge machines. This museum will set out to do just that, as well as pay tribute to that phase in post-war migration, and to stand as a memorial to the many Snowy workers who have brought so much to our nation. They have left their stamp on Australia.  The Snowy Scheme Museum Adaminaby will seek to bring recognition of their achievements to Australian and overseas visitors alike.

Holden 'UTAH' Ute
Holden 'UTAH' Ute


The recent review into the National Museum of Australia said that national development schemes, including the Snowy Mountains Scheme, are neglected and should be made future priorities. The Snowy Scheme Museum Adaminaby  is addressing this issue in a most comprehensive way. So far:

Machinery: We are discovering more and more pieces of machinery and innovation used on the Scheme;

Surveyors: Many areas of the Snowy Mountains had never been surveyed prior to the Snowy Scheme, and John Harper Kenny and his band from the NSW Electricity Board toiled for years in amazing conditions (photos of them waist deep in freezing mountain rivers testify to this). Some of his papers and equipment that he left behind will be exhibited;

Snow Skiing, Workers Compensation, and skilled migration from Italy: The former President of the Australian Ski Association has told of the central role played by the Snowy Scheme in the development of skiing in Australia, his own role as a lawyer in securing compensation for injured workers on the Snowy Scheme, and his connection with an Italian Travel Agent bringing skilled migrants out from Italy in the1950's and 1960's;

Occupational Health and Safety: Compulsory seatbelt wearing was just one of the major innovations of work on the scheme. A Cooma doctor has documented the nature and treatment of injuries on the scheme;

Banking in the Camps: Many will have seen the amazing snow covered tent buildings that passed for Commonwealth Savings Banks in the workers camps (the workers earned huge money for the time). The Commonwealth Bank has pledged to build a replica for the Adaminaby Snowy Scheme Collection;

Engineers: SMEC, the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation born of the Snowy Scheme, has volunteered models and equipment currently in their possession. Engineers Australia has donated bound copies of their complete Engineers' Oral History of the Snowy;

Snowy Hydro: Are supportive of the project and have provided financial and in kind support;

The Media: Many articles have been published in the Bulletin, the Canberra Times, the Cooma Express, Snowy Times, Monaro Post and the Snowy River Echo. A feature article has appeared in Outback Magazine, and interviews have been conducted on ABC Canberra, ABC Bega, ABC Wagga, along with local community radio.

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