A public art piece was unveiled at Scarborough Beach honouring the area’s surf lifesaving history, in time for the start of the 2014 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (The Aussies).
The art piece - titled “Watch Over You” by Tony and Ben Jones - is two bronze surf lifesavers casting a watchful eye over the ocean from the bottom of the Scarborough amphitheatre.
The bronze statues are part of the early improvements to the Scarborough beachfront, which is set to benefit from a $60million revitalisation by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, in collaboration with the City of Stirling.
MRA CEO Kieran Kinsella said the bronze statues recognised the importance of surf lifesaving to Scarborough and its continuing importance to the local culture and identity.
“These statues mark an important milestone in the revitalisation of Scarborough, which will draw on Scarborough’s unique identity to create an exciting and engaging destination for local, tourists and people of all ages. The timing of the unveiling could not have been better with 80,000 visitors, including 5,000 surf lifesavers from around the country, to visit Scarborough for The Aussies this week.”
City of Stirling Mayor Cr Giovanni Italiano JP said: “The unveiling of these statues celebrates Scarborough’s rich lifesaving history. It also marks the beginning of works that will give Scarborough a much needed facelift and turn it into the Bondi of the West - a premier tourism destination and a must see place to tick off the bucket list for tourists; a place for residents and locals to unwind and enjoy restaurants and recreate; and a place that the City of Stirling is proud to call the ‘Jewel in our Crown’.”
In addition to the bronze statues, other early improvements on the beachfront include feature lighting of the historic Rotary Clock Tower and free WiFi.
The State Government also provided financial support for the 2013/14 Scarborough events program, which included supporting the City of Stirling’s enormously successful Summerset Arts Festival. Other supported events included the popular ‘MRA Storybooth’, run by Chronicle Scarborough; sporting events including the Australian Beach Handball Championships and SLAM Beach Volleyball Festival; Brazilian dancing; and youth events including a silent disco and skating event.
The MRA is working to complete a draft master plan for Scarborough, following stakeholder and community consultation in late 2013 including the highly successful Scarborough Views community survey. The draft master plan will be released for public comment in mid-2014.
Watch the timelapse video of the statue installation.