A rare photograph of labourers near the Fergusson River in 1916. These ‘muck working gangs’ extended the railway from Pine Creek to the Katherine River without the aid of machinery. The project had begun three years earlier when the Commonwealth Government agreed to extend the existing railway as an incentive for the Vestey brothers to build a meatworks complex at Bullocky Point in Darwin. This image is featured in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory's new exhibition Unruly Days: Territory Life 1911 – 1921, on now.

Text: Jared Archibald

Image: MAGNT Lot 3068.002


Published: 19 August 2018

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.

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