Hat, with pins attached, Games Force uniform, Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, cotton / metal, hat designed and made by Nike, China, 2000
This hat has significance as a record of the role and experiences of a typical volunteer at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. While the hat was an official part of the volunteer uniform, the pins are an informal and personal record of some of the people that the donor met in carrying out her Games duties.
Made by Nike as part of the uniform for Games Force 2000, the accredited workforce for the Sydney 2000 Games, the hat is one of the few elements of the uniform to be manufactured by a company other than Bonds. The wide-brimmed hats were typically worn with the basic Games Force uniforms - taupe trousers, a polo shirt and a hip bag. Some volunteers wore baseball-style caps. The overall image was bright, neat, casual and recognisable.
Games Force 2000 supplied skilled and unskilled labour for most operations at the Games. Following the guiding principle 'Delivering the Dream', the Games Force team of 47,000 personnel, including volunteers and contracted and paid staff, provided the most visible and some of the most essential services at the Games, including first aid, transport, security, spectator services, Games services, technical support and broadcasting operations. In return, team members received complimentary transport to and from venues, complimentary meals when on duty, and a Games Force uniform.
The wide-brimmed hats were popular items for displaying personal collections of Sydney 2000 souvenir pins, although SOCOG requested that a maximum of five pins be attached to the Games Force hats and uniforms. The recent phenomenon of Olympic pin trading, including its informal code of etiquette and distinction between collectors, amateur traders and experienced traders, developed vigorously after the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games. Twenty years later, the Sydney 2000 Olympics inspired the production of around 3,500 collector pins and became the venue for serious and recreational pin trading.
Hat designed and made by Nike in China in 2000, for the Olympic Coordination Authority / Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.
Pins designed and made by various firms from Australia and overseas. Only four pin manufacturers, Benson House, Cash's Aminco, Lamphil and Trofé Australia, produced official pins for the 2000 Olympic Games. Adopting the Atlanta pin coding system, they stamped each pin with a unique six-digit number, the first digit signifying the year of manufacture, the last digit signifying the production limit code, and the four middle digits representing an individual pin. Many of the pins attached to the hat were made by these makers. However, some were brought to Sydney by members of the international press; these ones were designed and made overseas and do not carry these marks.
The donor, Shiela Hawkins, wore this hat as part of her uniform as a volunteer at the Main Press Centre at the Sydney Olympic Games, where her role was to meet and greet visiting members of the press. When applying to be a volunteer she filled out a form and nominated the Main Press Centre as her preferred workplace because she thought it would be interesting. She was given little training. At the uniform distribution centre in Redfern she was issued a volunteer's outfit: this hat, two shirts and a pair of trousers. She commenced her voluntary work at the press centre in mid-August 2000, before any journalists had arrived, and completed her final shift when the Games were nearly over.
She had fond memories of her experience as an Olympic volunteer: 'It was very interesting. I wouldn't have missed it for anything. It was an experience of my life that I will never forget, meeting people from all over the world. Most journalists were there to work and didn't want to chat. The press centre was equipped with computers and forty photocopiers for the journalists. There were cubby holes for each sport.'
The donor took photographs of the Main Press Centre. While working there, she was given pins by people whom she met and assisted. Some pins are international, some Australian. She attached the pins to her hat. Afterwards she contacted the Powerhouse Museum and kindly offered to donate the hat.