The Workers Wall

‘I’ve had nightmares, imagining that I was late for work and I hadn’t taken my token from the board.’  Richard Butcher, former Eveleigh worker.

This wall commemorates the role that tens of thousands of men, women and youths employed at Eveleigh between 1887 and 1989 played in shaping industrial, political and cultural life in Australia. It pays tribute to those who worked in demanding conditions through times of great adversity, technological, social and political change, to keep this industrial giant running for over a century.  

In these workshops, hundreds of locomotives were built, maintained, and repaired annually, enabling people, services, and supplies to move freely across NSW for generations. The contribution to Australia’s war efforts, as well as great feats in technological and workplace development were just some of the achievements of this manufacturing phenomenon. 

The experiences of Eveleigh’s workers and their unions, and their fight for improved working conditions have influenced workplace rights and conditions today. 

The tokens on display here are representative of the “token system” used throughout Eveleigh to identify workers, their roles and to keep time. Through this portal we invite you to meet some of the many the Workers of Eveleigh.