Prominent People of Eveleigh
"The men of Eveleigh are also being united by the processes of human relationships which, while not so apparent, are, in the long run, much more decisive than mechanical invention." Stan Jones, Daily News, 19 January 1939
In addition to producing hundreds of trains and turning out thousands of skilled workers, the New South Wales Railways was a training ground for leaders, politicians, and statesmen. Several of Australia’s 20th century political visionaries had their start in this industry, and their first exposure to the industrial conditions and resulting activism that would inspire their future battles and define their political agendas.
Eminent politicians who were associated with Eveleigh include Prime Ministers Billy Hughes and Ben Chifley, and NSW Premiers, James McGowan, Joe Cahill, and William McKell- who also served as Governor General of Australia. The legacy of their early trade work, and working-class beginnings is a common thread in the careers of these politicians, who oversaw many social and industrial reforms.
Many community leaders also spent time working in the Rail industry, including industrial nursing pioneer, activist, and founding member of the NSW College of Nursing, Agnes Mary Lyons, who worked as a senior industrial nurse in the workshops for over 20 years.