2015 – 2018

In February 2012, a Hawkesbury resident was reported as saying that he did not realise his home was at risk of flooding. And he is not alone: a 2001 survey revealed that one in five did not know that they were living on a flood plain. This exhibition sets out to raise awareness about what it means to live on a flood plain and how flooding has shaped our communities.  This award winning exhibition aims to engage the local audience with dramatic story-telling and visual displays, and to drive home the point that what has happened to people in this region in the past, could happen now.

Developed with two external organisations - the Hawkesbury Camera Club (whose members took photos, matching those taken during floods so that visitors could see how the landscape looks normally and how it looks when flooded) and the Hawkesbury SES. The first ever flood rescue organisation was formed in Windsor and the history of flood rescue in NSW is very much the history of flood rescue in the Hawkesbury. You can see one of the original flood rescue boats on display in the Museum. The exhibition shows how floods have been reported over time, including some of the earliest footage from 1913 up until the present day. There are also stories of heroism and tragedy.  Early floods were marked by devastation on a grand scale, and many lives were lost, including 12 members of the Eather family in the Great Flood of 1867. In that flood livestock, homes and farms were also washed away, including the Howell’s at Castlereagh.  Parts of this property were discovered downstream 100 years later and now feature in the exhibition.

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