Greta is a small town on the New England Highway, between Maitland and Singleton. The founding community developed round Anvil Creek in the 1830s, but it wasn't until a mine tapped into the huge coal seam which stretched south to Wollombi that the town developed.
At its peak, around the turn of the 20th century, the Greta Main Colliery employed 165 men and 100 horses.
For so long a blinkered, Hunter coal town, the transformation of Greta began with the outbreak of World War II when two large boot camps were established to prepare Aussie soldiers for battle.
After the war, the camps were converted into migrant transit camps to house the thousands of central European refugees who landed in Newcastle by the Fairstar and other converted liners.
Many of those migrants elected to settle in Greta and the surrounding district to forge one of the nation’s first multicultural communities.
The coal, unfortunately, ran out in the early 1950s.