Great Ocean Road celebrates 100th birthday with doco screenings and art installations

Great Ocean Road celebrates 100th birthday with doco screenings and art installations

Great Ocean Road
Photo: @happyhumanphotography
Words by Jonti Ridley

Check out how the beloved institution came to be.

Most of us have taken a road trip down the iconic Great Ocean Road once in our lives, but many of us have no idea about the 243km stretch’s humble beginnings.

To celebrate 100 years since the start of construction, creative studio The Social Crew has designed and built a diverse story trail experience which celebrates the milestone. The events and pop-ups include film screenings, art installations, augmented reality and design.

For those who don’t know, Howard Hitchcock, Geelong’s mayor in the early 1900s, was the driving force for the road, originally designed to up transport to the South West coast of Victoria and to provide work for returned servicemen. The long-form design was inspired by Hitchcock’s travels in the South of France. Since its grand opening, the tourist hotspot has become a world record holder and offers some of the most iconic views of the Victorian coast.

Kicking off the event program is a new documentary, The Story of the Road, created by filmmakers Jacqueline Tonks and Claire Falkiner. The doco will educate punters on the impressive history behind the Great Ocean Road, which serves as one of Victoria’s most iconic tourist destinations and the world’s largest war memorial.

What’s more, The Story of the Road includes five short films which connect locals to the key stories of their immediate surrounds. Each film shares stories of Indigenous history, the diggers making of the road, the development of the community and what the region is known for today. Some of the history dates back to an incredible 40,000 years in some cases.

Located in Torquay, Anglesea, Lorne, Wye River and Apollo Bay, cinemas created out of shipping containers will house each short film. The interior furnishings have been sourced secondhand from across the state from Benalla to Bairnsdale, and include refurbished cinema seating from Woodend cinemas plus iconic pieces from the era such as tea trolleys and club lounges. Due to the intimate nature of these screenings, visitor numbers are capped at five to 12 people at any one time, so be sure to register before you rock up.

To ensure the story lives on beyond the program, a new story trail has been installed that encourages visitors to sit down and learn a little more about the surrounding space. The 2.3-metre circular structures feature artworks by local artists and include QR codes which activate film and augmented reality displays. Punters are encouraged to sit down, engage with the installation and learn a thing or two about the journey. The exclusive screenings are to be held in Lorne and Apollo Bay on Wednesday September 18 and Thursday 19 September, respectively, with the pop-ups and art trail active from Torquay to Apollo Bay, Friday September 20 until Sunday October 6.

For more information on the Great Ocean Road’s celebrations, head to the program website.

The Story of The Road

To celebrate my 100th birthday, join us along the Great Ocean Road this September for a diverse program of film, art, design, augmented reality and music. I am very excited to share my story with you! 18 September to 6 October #iam100 #yourhappyspace

Posted by Visit the Great Ocean Road on Thursday, 8 August 2019