Theme: Communities Celebrating the Sea
Seaweek '88 coordinators: Julie Swartz, Pauline Halpin, Greg McGarvie
Understanding the theme
Seaweek - the beginning . . .
Reaching back through the mists of time, I think the idea for Seaweek was born at a Victorian MESA conference at Tooradin in 1984. John Tomkin, Vic MESA president at the time had recently returned from an exchange in the US with lots of ideas and 'Yankie' know-how, including a concept for a national week of sea celebrations.
In the early days of MESA, one of our greatest challenges was to get the marine environment onto the agenda, into the public psyche, onto school curricula..we set out to 'marinate' everything! We also felt a need to celebrate, rather than commiserate, promoting positive messages that would 'turn people on' to the sea. A national awareness promotion such as Seaweek seemed to fit the bill.
It took the creative energy and dedication of marine educator Pauline Halpin at the Marine Discovery Centre in Queenscliff to get things started. Seaweek began as a local event, using crab surveys and an art competition to familiarise communities and schools with coastal habitats in their areas. With Pauline's sheer enthusiasm, the idea quickly spread around the states and we were inundated with art work from all over the country. Seaweek had become a national event. And so it began . . .