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Year: 2004


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2004.

In the mainstream history very little acknowledgments has been given to the men who opened up the bush by building and maintaining roads through the remote area of Australia. One such person who is well and truly worthy of being recorded in the Wall of Fame is Dennis (Snowy) Noakes.

Sonwy's contribution to the Bulman Track (now called the Central Arnhem Road) upgrading is literally a part of the local history and no doubt the stories of his days on the road will become a part of legend for years to come.

Snowy worked for the Northern Territory Department of Transport and Works and was the last day-labour employee in the East Arnhem Region and possibly in the department. While in the bush he literally had to fend for himself. Snowy began in Katherine as a grader operator and worked there from 1963 until 1972. He then moved to Alice Springs and worked on the Barkly Highway sealing unit.

His dedication to the job saw him become a trim grader operator and a leading hand over a twenty-month period. When Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin, Snowy went for clean-up operations between 1974-75. After the clean-up Snowy moved to Alice Springs again where he worked on maintenance for the graders.

The following year he worked on the Arnham Highway (Kakadu) as a grader operator and from 1977-79 he went to Daly River and worked as a grader operator and acting foreman. The following four years were spent at Pine Creek as a maintenance foreman. Returning to Darwin in 1983, Snowy spent three years as a maintenance foreman in the town area. In 1986 Snowy then went to Nhulunbuy where he remained until he started work on the notorious Bulman Track upgrade.

There is little doubt that much of the outback would not, and could not, have been opened up for rural industry, mining camps and remote communities had it not been for the likes of Snowy Noakes and the work teams who braved the harshest of climates and all the elements of the bush to ensure the roads got through.

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