Re-Shaping The Hunter

Re-Shaping The Hunter

The Hunter Region is barely recognisable. Over the past three decades the changes in its industrial base, significant developments in infrastructure and move to a more sophisticated workforce has seen a region previously reliant on its steel and coal emerge as a hub of innovation, collaboration, and structural change.

With the Port of Newcastle at its heart, and a thriving network of industrial, technological and service-based sectors, the Hunter has reinvented itself. Underpinning this revitalisation has been the innovation and dedication of the engineering sector. What was once traditionally focused on traditional engineering sectors such as civil, mechanical, structural and electrical, the engineering discipline now has even greater depth and contribution as it broadened its scope to work alongside the needs of a changing economy with a renewed focus toward innovation. In recognition of the engineering sectors contribution to the region, Members of the Newcastle Division of Engineers Australia, Engineering Heritage Branch, are project managing the writing and publication of a book titled “Re-shaping The Hunter.”

Planned as a follow-up to the Institution’s previously released “Shaping The Hunter,” published in 1982, the book is a celebration of the work undertaken by the
Engineering sector in the development of the Hunter Region and will also serve as a historical reference of this challenging period of the region’s history.
The content will be an engaging narrative. Focusing on the re-emergence of the Hunter Region following the eventual full closure of the BHP Steelworks in

It will illustrate the re-focus and emergence of new skills and capabilities in the engineering sector and reference other economic contributors such as mining, the Port of Newcastle, manufacturing, education, and health and will include reference to the 1989 Newcastle earthquake and its effects on the engineering and construction sectors.

The book will further explore how globalisation, technological change, environmental concerns, and other factors have driven change. Ultimately, the book
will demonstrate how the engineers of today have been able to adapt, survive and thrive, just as their forebears have done.
The purpose of this publication would be to:

  • Illustrate the engineering sector’s vital contribution to the Hunter Region
  • Demonstrate the diversity and flexibility of the engineering sector
  • Present a case study of how a region can re-invent itself
  • Demonstrate the pathway the engineering profession can provide
  • Be used for continuous professional development within Engineers Australia membership and
  • University of Newcastle student-faculty
  • Give an insightful read and valuable contribution to the recording of the region’s history.
  • Representatives of the Hunter Region’s engineering and economic community have the opportunity to support this special publication as a sponsor or partner.

The publication
To be written by award-winning author Evan McHugh, with graphic design by Michelle Havenstein, the production quality of Reshaping the Hunter will reflect
the essential and historical nature of the publication.

Calling on his love of the Hunter Region and using his experience as the writer of over 19 books, Evan will shape the engineering history of the region into
a factual, illuminating, entertaining and historically valuable publication. Using the natural and built environments of the region as inspiration, experienced Graphic Designer Michelle Havenstein will design the full-colour glossy book in for visual appeal and enjoyable reading.

Please note:
This project has entered the Research Phase - the author is interviewing people from all sectors of engineering, gathering stories to include in the book. Please contact the Newcastle Division office with any appropriate leads. There is also space for more sponsors - see under Sponsorship heading for more details.

At a glance

  • Scheduled release date: late 2021
  • Book size: A4, 160 pages
  • Quality: softcover, perfect bound, gloss stock
  • Colour: full-colour publication throughout
  • RRP: $40

Please download our Sponsorship Prospectus to find out more information around the packages available.



This project is supported by Create NSW’s Cultural Grants Program,

a devoted funding program administered by

the Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW Government



Learn more about our Publication Partners


University of Newcastle


Learn more about our Publication Supporters

I S Systems

Port Waratah Coal Services


Lindsay Dynan


Douglas Partners





Learn more about our Cultural Grant Supporters

Royal Australian Historical Society