"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

The Noojee Boys' Camp

Peter McHugh (bio)

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the FCV undertook large unemployment programs of firebreak slashing, silvicultural thinning, weed spraying and rabbit control.

By 1935-36 the Commission employed almost 9000 men for periods of up to eight weeks at a time.The camps generally comprised 25 men with two-thirds being from the city. And despite the blisters, many remained in the country to make their future.

However, there was a particular need to provide opportunities for young people. Newspapers warned of long-term consequences of enforced idleness of youth of the nation,claiming that if nothing was done “many would become permanently unemployable and would settle down to a life on the dole or turn to crime.”

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