Newcastle Museum and library seeking photos for Surfest’s 30th anniversary

NEWCASTLE, NSW June 6, 2014
THE NEWCASTLE Museum and the Newcastle Region Library are joining with Surfest to unearth photos and memorabilia that will help celebrate Surfest’s 30th* anniversary.

The first Surfest event was launched as the BHP Steel Invitational in 1986. At that time, Surfest offered the biggest prize purse for professional surfers on the planet.

While Surfest organisers are tight-lipped about the nature and extent of celebrations planned for 2015, acknowledgement of the event’s history will play a central part following a collaboration between Newcastle’s key cultural institutions and Surfest.

Newcastle Museum deputy director Julie Baird and Surfest chief Warren Smith are calling for the community to dig out their Surfest photos and other ephemera.

Warren Smith, who has been at the helm of Surfest since it commenced, is hopeful the search, in combination with the museum and library, will reveal some real treasures.

“I’m confident there’s community members who have photos, videos or other memorabilia relevant to a Surfest retrospective and we’d love to see that material,” he said.

“We want people to look in the shed or under the bed and help us revive the memories of Surfest during the past three decades.

“While we are particularly interested in photos from 2000-2010 to continue the documentation of surfing history in Newcastle, we’d love anything relevant to a Surfest exhibition from any time period.

“We are looking at staging an exhibition at the Newcastle Museum in February and March 2015 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Surfest,” Mr Smith said.

Newcastle Museum Deputy Director Julie Baird said the museum and library are ideal partners to be contributing to the archiving and display of Surfest.

“Newcastle Museum with their object collection and Newcastle Region Library with their photo collection work together to keep and display the important history of Newcastle,” said Ms Baird.

“We think Surfest is a significant Newcastle story and we are combining forces with the event to add to the city’s collections.

“If you have photos of Surfest or surfing – particularly between 2000 and 2010 – drop off your images and contact details on disc or thumb drive to Newcastle Museum’s front counter.

“The best photos, as selected by a Surfest panel, will go on display in Newcastle Museum and will be kept by Newcastle Region Library in their permanent collection”, said Ms Baird.

The Newcastle Museum is located at 6 Workshop Way, Newcastle NSW 2300.

Further information: Warren Smith: 0412127525.
*There was an event hiatus in 1999 while pro-surfing restructured the world surfing tour, hence 2015 is the 30th Surfest.