Explore the Snowy Hydro defining moment in Australian history with a memory
game. Match pairs of cards to reveal interesting stories about the people who worked on
this enormous, pioneering project. Then test your knowledge with a quiz!
Optimised for Chrome, Safari and Edge. For best results play on a laptop or computer.
Hi, I'm Thomas!
I study Engineering and Arts at the Australian National
University. I made this digital resource as part
of a course investing the use of digital methods to
reimagine historical artifacts.
I decided to focus on the construction of the Snowy
Mountains Hydroelectric system because I was fascinated
by the impacts this project had on both the technical
and social landscape of Australia.
I built this resource using some basic web development
skills, resources from the National Archives of
the use of Adobe Illustrator to create each of the
character cards in the memory game.
I hope you enjoy using this digital resource!
How to use this resource - for Teachers
The first part of this digital resource is a memory game. There
are 10 different cards
to match, each card displays an employee of the Snowy Hydro.
Each card depicts a cartoon
of the 'character' and the typical 'tools' they would have used
while working on the Snowy Hydro project.
Users are challenged to match each of the 10 pairs as quickly as
possible by clicking
on cards to turn them over. Users may only click on two cards in
There are 18 different character cards in total, so each user
will be playing
with a different group of 10 cards in a different arrangement.
Every game is different!
If a user discovers a 'match', a popup will appear which
contains further information about
that particular character. Other than the depiction of the
character, all of the information
contained in each character card is factual.
After each of the 10 cards has been successfully matched, a
button will appear at the bottom
of the webpage directing the user to an end of game Quiz. The
quiz consists of 10 different questions,
matching the 10 character cards that the user previously
The 10 character cards relating to each users' 10 quiz questions
will be displayed at the bottom of
the webpage. Although some of the quiz questions may seem a
little tricky, there are plenty of hints
in the resource to help users answer all of the questions
If at any point a user is stuck in the quiz, they can hover over
and click onto any of the character
cards displayed along the bottom of the webpage. Doing this will
cause the information popup to appear.
All of the answers to the quiz questions can be found in these
information popups, with some reading involved!
The instructions of the game will go here!
Douglas Walter Leckie
Occupation: Pilot Years Employed: 6 Country of Origin: Great Britain
Douglas was a skilled pilot, having flown aircraft in the Second
World War and
multiple research expeditions to Antarctica before he commenced
work on the Snowy
Hydro project. Whilst working for the Snowy Hydro, he received
Oswald Watt Medal. This medal recognizes “the most noticeable
contribution to aviation in Australia by an Australian in a
He resigned from work in 1960 and decided to move to Victoria to
mother manage the family farm.
Occupation: Axeman Years Employed: 2 Country of Origin: Australia
Paul found himself in quite a bit of trouble after a workplace
incident in Cooma.
As a result of this, he was fined $30 from the
Khancoban is a town in the
Kosciuszko National Park
built to house workers of the Snowy Hydro
court and fired from his
job as an axeman. Hoping to get her son’s job back, Paul’s
mother wrote a letter
to his boss stating:
“Paul is more than sorry for his mistakes... He is by no means a
bad lad, this
trouble he got into was done in haste, without reason or thought
of what the
consequences could be.”
Unfortunately for Paul, he was not
to 'reinstate' means to return
its original state
Occupation: Works Foreman Years Employed: 26 Country of Origin: Germany
Prior to working on the Snowy Hydro project, Heinz served the
during the Second World War. During this time, he was a prisoner
of war for
He began his 26 year career with the Snowy Hydro Authority as a
carpenter but over
his career he continued to gain promotions. Before his promotion
foreman, the following comments were made about Mr
“His officer in charge has reported favourably on his ability to
and handle men and considers him to be suitable for the position
of works foreman.”
Occupation: Civil Engineer Years Employed: 12 Country of Origin: Hungary
Ildiko Botka fled Hungary as a
a 'refugee' is someone that
has been forced to leave
their country due to war, persecution or a
and immigrated to
Australia. Her skillsets as a civil engineer were needed and
after receiving a job,
she was placed in the
'hydrology' is a type of
science that studies water and
how water moves through land
branch. Some of her tasks in this section included
flood studies, snowmelt forecasting procedures and work on
computers to model
She applied for 9 months of unpaid leave in order to have a baby
but this application
was rejected and as a result, she was forced to resign. Despite
the Snowy Hydro
Authority wishing to keep her position, they strongly advised
her to reapply after
9 months. After giving birth, she reapplied for her position in
department and was successful.
Occupation: Carpenter (initially) Years Employed: 10 Country of Origin: Lithuania
Kazys was employed and reclassified multiple times over his
career with the Snowy
Hydro Authority. He began his work as a carpenter, but this work
was not suited to his
body. As a result of his bad health his doctor wrote the
following letter to his
“This man is suffering from heart disease...While it is
desirable for him to continue
activity within his limits this work should be of the lightest
a nine to five desk job is most essential.”
His boss terminated his employment as a result of his
permanently bad health.
Occupation: Chainman Years Employed: 10 Country of Origin: Yugoslavia
Anton Glavica moved to Australia from a country called
Yugoslavia no longer exists.
The place where Yugoslavia
used to be in Europe is now Serbia, Croatia and
A ‘Chainman’ is another name for someone who performs surveying
work. Surveyors take
detailed measurements of areas of land to make sure that
infrastructure projects – such
as the construction of dams and hydroelectric power stations –
As a Chainman, Anton Glavica had a number of roles to perform.
Some of these roles
included maintaining survey equipment, chopping down trees and
bushland to clear
lines of sight and clearing walking tracks.
Occupation: Timekeeper Years Employed: 5 Country of Origin: Czechoslovakia
Josef studied commerce at university in Prague. He used these
skills working as a
timekeeper. Much of his work involved distributing large sums of
employees, materials and project work – jobs that would require
lots of maths!
An 'accountant' is someone who
keeps track of
studies, he was made a member of the Australian Society of
Accountants in 1958. In a letter that the Society wrote,
addressed to the Snowy Hydro
"As a result of years of study and work, Mr Peska has gained the
membership and through you I desire to congratulate him."
Occupation: Lorry Driver Years Employed: 38 Country of Origin: Australia
Richard Lodge spent most of his working life (38 years of it)
working for the Snowy
Hydro Authority. Driving lorries for the Snowy Hydro Project
would have involved
moving large quantities or earth to and from worksites to make
way for new
infrastructure. For someone like Richard, there were always
jobs to be found.
In addition to working for the Snowy Hydro project in Australia,
Richard was selected
to go on a driver assignment to Thailand to assist in building
the Tak to Mae Sot road
project. This project was one of the first overseas aid projects
by the Snowy
Gerard Willem Van Wezel
Occupation: Electrical Engineer Years Employed: 14 Country of Origin: Netherlands
At the time of the Second World War Gerard was held as a
prisoner for three years by the Japanese.
During this time, he was forced to work on the
Burma Railway line
this was a railway line that
was built to connect
Burma and Thailand in Asia
His university education was broken up over two countries. The
first half of which
involved engineering study in the Netherlands. He then moved to
Perth and completed an electrical
engineering program there.
In his role as an electrical engineer, Gerard was responsible
for the installation
of electrical equipment, cabling and device protection at
hydro-electric power stations.
Occupation: Typist Years Employed: 5 Country of Origin: Great Britain
Typists were responsible for producing letters,
certificates, articles and other documentation. For a typist,
making little to no
errors was crucial. If too many errors on a document were made,
the entire document
had to be retyped. To be appointed as a typist by the Snowy
Hydro Authority, applicants had to pass a
40 words per minute typing test.
In her application typing test, Angeleia typed at a rate of 47.8
words per minute.
Later in her career, she was tested typing at a rate of 66.3
words per minute which
made her eligible for a higher salary. Towards the end of her
career, she was tested
at 57.6 words per minute, a slight drop from her personal best!
Harold Ernest Henry Gibbs
Occupation: Electrical Engineer Years Employed: 4 Country of Origin: Great Britain
Harold Gibbs saw an ad in the local newspaper for a job in
Australia as an Electrical
Engineer and quickly jumped on the opportunity to move overseas
with his family and
chase a new life. His wife and two children joined him on the
trip to Australia for
work on the Snowy Hydro.
He spent 4 years working for the Snowy Hydro and afterwards left
to work on
electrical grid networks in NSW, and later on, the Royal Air
Force. He was described
by his boss at the Snowy Hydro as being a "widely experienced,
capable and energetic
Robert Turner Brodie
Occupation: Scientific Services Division
(Engineer) Years Employed: 5 Country of Origin: Great Britain
Whilst in his final year of Civil Engineering studies in
Glasgow, Scotland, Robert
saw a job advertisement for work on the Snowy Hydro Scheme in
Australia. As someone
with a keen interest in infrastructure foundations and soils, he
applied for the job
and was successful!
Most of his work on the Snowy Hydro Scheme involved soil
testing, rock bolt development
and technical report writing. Most of his work was situated
Khancoban is a town in the
Kosciuszko National Park
built to house workers of the Snowy Hydro
region of the project.
Constance Dora Harvey
Occupation: Artist/Tracer Years Employed: 17 Country of Origin: Australia
Before applying for her job as a
a tracer is someone who draws
detailed drawings of equipment and objects such
generators, bridges and buildings
on the Snowy Hydro scheme, Constance had
experience working for an Engineering company in London and as
an artist. She moved to
Cooma in 1957 and her work as a tracer involved sketching
detailed drawings of gates,
valves, power plants and graphs.
Her skills at drawing were observed by her managers, calling her
co-operative and cheerful person". Constance was also deaf but
was skilled in lip
reading and could speak fairly well. She commented later in her
life that "disability
is no handicap in work as a tracer."
Rudolf Ernest Belin
Occupation: Scientific Officer Years Employed: 3 Country of Origin: Great Britain (born in New
Rudolf was born in New Zealand and studied at university in
Auckland. He applied for a position as an
An electrical engineer is
someone who develops, repairs and manages
electrical circuits and the devices that they
are used within
but was instead offered the role of 'Scientific Officer',
something he was not
pleased about! At the same time, he was offered a promotion at
his work in New Zealand, but decided
to accept the offer from the Snowy Hydro scheme, since he
believed that over time, the sort of work
available in Australia would be more interesting.
He moved his family from New Zealand to Australia to begin work
with the Snowy Hydro
scheme in 1956.
Peter James French
Occupation: Apprentice Electrical Fitter /
Mechanic / Drafter Years Employed: 5 Country of Origin: Australia
While still a high school student in Tumut, Peter applied for a
position as an apprentice electrician.
"...I feel that I would like to become a qualified electrician
if possible, and become a
part of your great scheme."
In a reference letter from his principal at Tumut High School,
he was described as having
a "pleasant personality and disposition" as well as being a
"reliable, industrious and
trustworthy young man", possessing a "bay of potential". He
received a job offer as an apprentice electrical fitter mechanic
- straight out of high school!
As a second year apprentice in 1968, Peter was paid 57 cents per
hour, or $23 per week!
As an apprentice, some of the tasks he would have performed
included working on motor coils,
electrical circuit board work and electrical maintenance inside
homes. He took a liking to
work in the drawing office, sketching electrical circuit boards
and other devices. His skills
were best suited here.
Occupation: Electrical Engineer Years Employed: 5 Country of Origin: Australia
Thomas worked as an electrical engineer for the Snowy Hydro
scheme. He was a highly skilled
employee and during his time here, was granted 2 years of leave
to undertake work experience in
Sweden. The Snowy Hydro scheme believed that in gaining
experience abroad Mr Crawford would return
with new knowledge to benefit the project in Australia.
After enjoying work and life in Europe, he petitioned to remain
abroad for longer than
the 2 years previously agreed upon. The Snowy Hydro were
disappointed with this proposal
and after failed negotiations, Thomas resigned from his position
in Australia and continued
to live and work in Europe. The Authority decided to never again
re-employ Thomas, due to
his breaking of their bond.
Occupation: Technical Records Officer Years Employed: 22 Country of Origin: Great Britain
Joseph had an interesting career before working on the Snowy
Hydro Scheme. We worked as a radio
intelligence operator during the Second World War for the
British Army and later moved to Australia
as part of the British Assisted Passage Scheme and found work in
Canberra in the Department of
He was very skilled at languages, being fluent in German and
with a reading knowledge of Dutch and
French. In his application letter, Joseph stated "I realise that
language qualifications are not
essential...but in view of the large number of European migrants
employed by the authority, I feel
that they could be an asset."
In his role as a technical records officer, Mr Gotts was
responsible for correspondence and filing,
liaison with other workshops within the SMHEA and liaison on
costing and workshops procedure,
maintenance of the filing system, overseeing staff member
movements (leave, overtime, resignations)
and general office duties.
Later in his career, he was reclassified as a technical officer
and his type of work changed to tasks
such as installation and maintenance of communications systems,
fire protection systems,
thermoelectric generators and air conditioning systems.
After 22 years working for the Snowy Hydro scheme, he was
retrenched due to insufficient work.
Francis Richard Gibbs
Occupation: Model Maker Years Employed: 17 Country of Origin: Great Britain
Prior to working on the Snowy Hydro scheme, Francis Gibbs served
for three years in the
Royal Engineers in Great Britain as Sergeant Model-Maker and was
constructing topographical models of military objectives and
other models required for
tactical exercises. The Snowy Hydro authority believed that Mr
Gibbs' skill sets could be
used in the construction of topographical scale models for
publicity purposes and in the
construction of models for the hydraulics laboratory.
In his first year of work with the Snowy Hydro authority he
prepared scale models of the
Snowy Mountains area which were used for display purposes in
Melbourne and Sydney.
His skills were highly sought after by the scheme and he spent
some time on transfer with
the Public Relations team in Sydney, producing display models of
the Snowy Hydro Scheme.
He was skilled with his hands and his work as a model maker also
led to work in restoring
furniture for the Snowy Hydro scheme.