On Monday, November 11, a piece of Orbost history was packed up and shipped off, bound for the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
Members of the Snowy River Alliance and the Women of the Snowy River committees from Dalgety and Orbost the only two towns on the Snowy River downstream of Jindabyne were recently contacted by the museum as they sought items of significance relating to the negotiations that took place between the lobby groups, Murray River irrigators, hydroelectricity managers, scientists and federal and state governments in 1997/1998, and the years after, regarding the ‘Let the Snowy Flow’ and ‘28 Per Cent’ campaigns.
These items of history are to go on display in the museum for the next 10 years as part of a larger collection.
Items headed north include posters created by local school children, as well as ones used to protest, along with a large sculpture made from the reports issued by the Snowy Water Inquiry 1998. The sculpture was a team effort between Women of the Snowy River, Snowy River Alliance, Environment Victoria, Myer Foundation and Australia Geographic. It sprang from the disappointment they felt towards the information presented in the booklet. Through their creative display the women were able to depict their concerns for the Snowy and the impact the Snowy Hydro dams would have on the iconic river and its communities.
The sculpture included real sand, algae and rocks from the river to highlight its current state and took 14 days to construct by a small but dedicated team.
The sculpture was restored by Ruth Hanson and Dawn van den Berg before its voyage to Canberra.
PICTURED: Ruth Hanson worked with a small but dedicated team in 1997/98 to create the sculpture and has been a part of the restoration in preparation for the exhibition in Canberra.