One of the images that will be on display in the 'Between The Flags' exhibition. This is part of a traveling show from the National Museum of Australia and will be seen at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.
One of the images that will be on display in the 'Between The Flags' exhibition. This is part of a traveling show from the National Museum of Australia and will be seen at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. National Museum of Australia/www.nma.gov.au

Surf life saving history on display in Coffs

THE history of surf lifesaving in Australia and the joys and dangers of the beach are explored in a new National Museum of Australia exhibition on show at Coffs Harbour Regional Museum from August 25-October 18, 2008.

Between the Flags: 100 Years of Surf Lifesaving traces the proud history of the surf lifesaving movement. It is a travelling exhibition developed and presented by the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

Coffs Harbour Regional Museum is the only venue on the North Coast hosting the interactive display.

“Lifesavers hold a very important position in our community and culture and they have come to represent Australia and Australians to the rest of the world,” said Councill Bill Palmer, a Life Member of Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club.

“Lifesavers are a true Aussie icon and their contribution to public safety deserves to be celebrated. It's particularly fitting that we're hosting this exhibition as Coffs Harbour established the first female life saving team in Australia,” he said.

A century after the formation of the movement which became Surf Life Saving Australia, members have made 500,000 rescues across Australia's 11,000 beaches.

The exhibition celebrates the lifesavers who have made our beaches safer places, helped Australians to enjoy the surf and played a role in creating Australia's beach culture.

Between the Flags looks at the golden age of lifesaving, when the lifesaver joined the bushman and the digger as national icons. It traces changing technologies, the push to admit women to the ranks, the emergence of surf sport competitions, and the lifesaver's cultural icon status at events including the Sydney Olympic ceremonies.

The exhibition, developed with Surf Life Saving Australia, has a number of interactive exhibits and includes surf caps from across the nation, rescue gear, medallions and a surfboard with a shark bite taken out of it. The exhibition includes personal stories from surf lifesavers, historic beach footage and a children's trail with secret beach clues for younger audiences.



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