It

's 100 years since Vestey's Meatworks opened at Bullocky Point in Darwin, on the site where Darwin High School and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory are located today. In 1914 Vestey Brothers negotiated with the Commonwealth to build a meatworks in Darwin in return for the railway line being extended from Pine Creek to Katherine. It was expected that the meatworks would process a large number of cattle and export the meat. Vestey's completed the meatworks in 1917 at great expense. At the time it was the largest meatworks in Australia, able to process 55 head of cattle per day with frozen storage capacity of 6000 tons. It operated for only three years during which time there were frequent strikes and controversy. Vestey's Meatworks was then closed permanently in 1925, dealing a blow to Darwin's economy.

Published: 7 May 2017


Picture: Library & Archives NT. Vesteys meatworks, Bradshaw, Walter Herbert, 1917, PictureNT, Bradshaw Collection, PH0856/0047

Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

caddie brain 2021

These works were made on Arrernte, Larrakia, Gaddigal and Lenape land that was never ceded