Between 1857 and 1992, many thousands of people worked on Cockatoo Island. They brought many skills, and trained thousands of young Australian apprentices who went on to other industries throughout Australia. There are few records of the number of people who worked on the island before 1913, but between 1913 and 1992 the workforce represented some 142,000 man-years of total effort. The highest number of people employed in the dockyard was 4,085 on 31 December 1919. Through their efforts the workers of Cockatoo Dockyard made an enormous contribution to the Nation, the Royal Australian Navy, Australia’s merchant marine and the development of national infrastructure.
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