Surf, Sea and Sand – Between the Flags, National Museum of Australia

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Client: National Museum of Australia
Event: The celebration of 100 years of Surf Life Saving on Australian Day 2006.
Purpose: To support the History of Surf Life Saving Exhibition at the Museum the Great Entrance Hall at the Museum.
Audience: Approximately 150 people gathered to see the children re-enact the History of Surf Life Saving in Australia.

Production Details:

These workshops were fun and informative and helped the museum exhibition come to life, creating an exciting way for children to trace the history of Surf Life Saving.

The story started around 1902 when ladies and gentlemen did not swim together and certainly not in daylight hours! A ‘Sun’ prop was used to give the impression of the sun rising and setting and the children pretended to swim after dark amongst the beautiful, tie dyed, silk ‘waves’.

In 1915 Duke Kahanmoku, from Hawaii, was the first person to ride a surfboard in Australia.  This discovery created great interest amongst the children participating in the workshop, particularly when they were later given the opportunity to ride on surf boards to re-enact the use of the lighter Malibu boards brought to Australia by the Americans in the 1950s.  A child size surf reel and a boat on castors also enabled the children to re-enact rescues from past and present times.

At the culmination of the workshops the children were thrilled to present this story about Surf Life Saving in front of a huge audience in the Great Entrance Hall at the Museum.

Comments from the feed-back forms:
Question: Did your child enjoy the experience?
Answer: Yes – very keen to return each day and find out what was happening next.
Question: Do you think this program helped the child’s understanding for the function and history of Surf Life Saving in Australia?
Answer: Absolutely! We all knew very little about it beforehand. It also really helped Arron to make sense of the exhibition at the Museum.
Question: What was your reaction to the program?
Answer: Very impressed. The costumes and props were excellent and really added to the story. This and the basic explanations were so perfectly at the right level for this age group. Well done!

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