Snowy: The making of modern Australia


By Brad Collis



|  The Snowy Mountains Scheme was the foundation on which Australia built multiculturalism, secondary and tertiary industries, and one of the world’s great renewable energy resources. In just 25 years, the Scheme transformed Australia from British and agricultural to multicultural and industrial. Yet this story that embodies the essence of who we are as a modern nation has almost been forgotten.

In Snowy – the Making of Modern Australia, author Brad Collis tells the extraordinary story of the post-war immigration program, and the use of this instant, skilled labour force to build what remains one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world.

Entwining the stories of ‘displaced persons’ from Europe’s refugee camps and ruined cities, the High Country stockmen into whose fabled world this mélange of humanity flocked, and the political and engineering visionaries who pushed the Scheme into being, the book covers much of the public debate at the time, with strong echoes of today’s refugee conflict.

As the only book on the Snowy Mountains Scheme still in print, Snowy helps to explain much of our country’s social, cultural, industrial and political shifts over the past 60 years and is an invaluable aid to understanding modern Australia.

Originally published in 1990, this new edition has been updated to include colour photographs from the time and additional chapters covering some of the more recent controversies over river flows and water management.


Click on the links below for reviews, opinion and more.

Information for schools

The Age – Our immigration policy is not advancing Australia fairer

Watch a short video on the Snowy scheme



  • Categories
    History, Non-fiction