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Major exhibition on surf lifesaving opens

5 DECEMBER 2006

The Minister for the Arts, Senator Rod Kemp, has opened a major exhibition at the National Museum of Australia celebrating the centenary of surf lifesaving in Australia.

Between the Flags: 100 years of surf lifesaving in Australia celebrates lifesavers who have made our beaches safer places, helped Australian's enjoy the surf and played a role in creating Australia's beach culture.

"Surf lifesavers have made a day at the beach safe and enjoyable for 100 years in Australia. The surf lifesaver's iconic red and yellow caps have become woven into our culture as they have made our beaches safer and helped ingrain surf and sand into Australian life," Senator Kemp said.

"Over the past century our surf lifesavers have adapted their techniques and skills. Surf lifesavers have made 500,000 rescues on the nation's beaches."

The exhibition, developed with Surf Life Saving Australia, includes early resuscitation gear, a surf boat, trophies and a surf board with a shark bite taken from it.

"Ever since the first clubs formed in 1907, surf lifesavers have been watching over our surfside playground. In the process they have come to represent Australia and Australians to the rest of the world," said Craddock Morton, Director of the National Museum of Australia.

Between the Flags: 100 years of surf lifesaving in Australia is on show at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra from 5 December 2006 to 11 February 2007. Entry is free. The exhibition will also travel to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Media contact:

Michael Christo, Senator Kemp's Office, 03 9650 7274 or 0409 040 276
Dennis Grant, National Museum of Australia, 02 6208 5351 or 0409 916 481