Shirt, polyester / cotton / plastic, designed by Tony Assness for the 75th Anniversary of Sydney Harbour Bridge, made by Johnny Bobbin, China, used by New South Wales Premier's Department, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2007
This shirt has significance as a record of a major community event -- the celebrations on Sunday 18 March 2007 marking the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Bridge. The people of Sydney made the 75th anniversary an unqualified success. In a demonstration of community spirit, 200,000 people registered by e-mail to walk across the Bridge, which was closed to traffic from 4am to 10.30pm.
Perhaps the nation's greatest building project of the twentieth century, the Bridge is a well-known symbol that has represented Sydney and Australia to the world. Its vast history has touched many lives, including those who lobbied for its creation, those displaced by its construction, those who worked and died to build it, and those who participated in its spectacular opening. Today it looms large in the daily lives of Sydney's inhabitants and many feel a personal connection to the Bridge.
Branded as 'Our Bridge', the anniversary event was meticulously planned by Executive Producer Noel Staunton and the Office of Protocol and Special Events in the New South Wales Premier's Department. They engaged Deuce Design and creative director Tony Assness to develop a graphic design concept that was applied to the banner, flags, posters, ribbon, printed material and most other items produced for the 'Our Bridge' celebration. The design gave the celebration a unique 'look and feel', heightened the sense of occasion and contributed to the remarkable spirit of community that was evident.
There were planned activities throughout the day, with various organisations and agencies providing events across Sydney Harbour. An official ceremony took place at 9am, comprising a welcome to country, the national anthem, speeches, a ribbon cutting, a pyrotechnics display and a performance of the specially composed 'Our Bridge' overture. The Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir, cut the ribbon and the Bridge Walk began. Volunteers handed out free caps at the start of the walk, which went from north to south over the deck of the Bridge. Participants could hear a specially created soundscape, featuring highlights of news bulletins and music of the last 75 years, presented decade by decade. Spectacular windchimes hanging from the walkway completed the soundscape. A memorial plaque dedicated to the 16 workers who died during the construction of the Bridge was unveiled at Dawes Point Park.
Nightfall heightened the sense of occasion. Under the direction of Stephen Page, an Indigenous smoking ceremony was held at sunset. Several hundred members of the Indigenous community timed their walk to coincide with the smoking ceremony. Special lighting effects illuminated the Bridge as never before. The last walkers, wearing fluorescent caps containing small lights, crossed the Bridge around 9pm.
Designed by Tony Assness. A prominent design was necessary to enable easy recognition of the crew. Made in China by Johnny Bobbin.
This is a sample of the shirts worn by the crew of the 'Our Bridge' celebration on Sunday 18 March 2007. The organisers distributed the shirts to ensure the crew was recognisable. Donated to the Museum by the Office of Protocol and Special Events as part of a collection of objects and designs created in 2007 for the anniversary celebrations.