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100 Years of Hydro: public exhibition launched in Launceston

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A travelling public exhibition telling the story of the Hydro over the last 100 years will open in Launceston tomorrow (August 27).

100 Years of Hydro is a dynamic, audio-visual, content-rich exhibition that portrays the past, present and possible future of the Hydro through the fascinating stories of the people who built the business.

“Hydro Tasmania began its life with a far-reaching dream and continues to take the lead in renewable energy creation in Australia,” said centenary program manager, Lara van den Berg.

“The business was created by ordinary people doing extraordinary things that have changed the way we live and contributed to development of Tasmania’s identity. This exhibition tells the story of their achievements.”

The exhibition covers the entire Hydro story from construction of the first power station, Waddamana, to the novel technologies being used today. It has been designed to incorporate indoor and outdoor interpretive elements, housed largely within a 40ft custom-designed container but also making use of external industrial frames.

“The story of the Hydro is the story of social change in Tasmania,” Ms van den Berg said.

“Through the electricity generated by hydropower, the State’s manufacturing and agriculture industries have flourished; Hydro people built roads and created villages where none previously existed; the migrant workforce recruited to work on power schemes shaped Tasmania’s culture; and our engineering and technological breakthroughs have changed the way the world approaches the challenge of generating energy.”

The free exhibition is part of the Hydro’s centenary program of events and initiatives. It opens at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston where it will be located near the main entrance, and will run through to early October.

"We are delighted to support Hydro Tasmania, a unique organisation," says Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery Director, Richard Mulvaney.

"This is the first time we have featured a ‘pop-up’ exhibition at the Museum and we are delighted to be the first of four venues to host this bespoke exhibition."

The exhibition will then travel to the West Coast for the Queenstown Heritage and Arts festival from October 10-12. The festival’s theme this year is the Power of Water.

Next stop will be Hobart from October 18 – 4 November, with the exhibition to be located at Mawson Place next to the old Marine Board building.

The exhibition will then travel to the Tarraleah village just off the Lyell Highway, two hours drive north west of Hobart. The site of the old Hydro village built for the construction of the Tarraleah power station in the 1930 will be the exhibition’s home for the foreseeable future.

Development of the exhibition has drawn on historical records, personal memoirs, and Hydro Tasmania publications.


Released by Samantha Meyer, 03 6230 5746


Exhibition locations and dates


The grounds of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

Opening: Wed 27 Aug

Closing: Sun 5 Oct


Queenstown (as part of the Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival)

Opening: Friday 10 Oct

Closing: Sunday 12 Oct



Mawson Place

Opening: Sat 18 Oct

Closing: Tues 4 Nov



Tarraleah Village (next to the Café/Reception building)

Opening: Sun 9 Nov

Closing: Ongoing (exhibition will remain at Tarraleah)