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A bucketful of Hydro memories comes to Hobart

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hydro Tasmania’s centenary event program focuses on Hobart this week, with the opening of a mobile exhibition and screenings of a documentary, both of which celebrate the stories of the people who built ‘the Hydro’.

The business will officially mark its centenary on 23 October 2014, and is inviting all Tasmanians to join in celebrating, through a free program of events across the state.

“The Hydro was created by ordinary people doing extraordinary things that have helped develop Tasmania’s identity and changed the way we live. In developing our centenary event program, we wanted to celebrate these people,” said centenary program manager,
Lara van den Berg.

“We have 100 years’ worth of stories to draw on and the resulting exhibition and documentary provide a fascinating insight into the challenges and hardships people faced in developing our hydropower scheme, and the resilience and innovation that helped them succeed and thrive.”

Hydro Tasmania commissioned award-winning Tasmanian film-maker David Pyefinch to create the documentary, People of the Hydro.

“My team felt really privileged to be able to uncover the past through listening to and capturing people’s recollections,” Mr Pyefinch said.

“The film is an exploration of the Tasmanian character - what it means to be part of this remarkable community in such a special place. It is a true Tasmanian story of ingenuity and effort tied together by a sense of community being part of the Hydro family which touches one in five Tasmanian lives.

“People generously shared their own photos, home movies and memories with us to make a film that provides very personal perspectives on the Hydro story.”

Similar themes are explored in the travelling exhibition 100 Years of Hydro.

Described as a ‘mini museum’, the exhibition 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.

It incorporates 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 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 exhibition and documentary celebrate the successes of the past 100 years, but also provide a ‘warts and all’ look at challenges faced by individuals and the business over time.

The exhibition has already been visited by thousands of people in Launceston and Queenstown and will travel to Tarraleah after its Hobart season.

The documentary film People of the Hydro is screening at Hobart’s State Cinema from Saturday 18 October – Wednesday 5 November. Visit the cinema website for session times.

The travelling exhibition 100 Years of Hydro is on display at Hobart’s Mawson Place from Saturday 18 October – Tuesday 4 November from 9am-5pm.

Both events are free.

More information about Hydro Tasmania’s centenary is available at www.hydro100.com.au

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Released by Samantha Meyer, 03 6230 5746