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Press Release: Young detectives scour exhibition for clues

Issued: 27 September 2011

YOUNG sleuths can join the Ship Detective Game at Cape Otway Lightstation during the school holidays in connection with an exhibition of 27 paintings of The Ships that Shaped Australia.

The diverse and colourful collection of large scale paintings, by the late Jack L Koskie, depict a fascinating array of vessels that sailed our seas bringing migrants to Australia from Europe, carried people determined to get rich quick during the Gold Rush, warships, boats of discovery, passenger and cargo steamers, and even Australia II the racing yacht which wrested the America’s Cup from the New York Yacht Club in 1983.

Some of the boats depicted in the exhibition had tragic endings sending many people to watery graves – including the Loch Ard which was wrecked near Port Campbell in 1878, and SS Casino which was wrecked at Apollo Bay in 1932.

The exhibition, which was opened by Maritime Museum of Victoria chairman Dr Henry Hudson on Sunday, will be at the Lightstation until February.

Dr Hudson said the exhibition was ideal for children and helped them gain an understanding of Australia’s important maritime heritage.

Lightstation manager Paul Thompson said the activity sheet for children, which included a maze and the chance to colour-in a clipper ship, was free for children visiting the heritage precinct.

“Kids are welcome to pick up a copy of the activity sheet and our KIDZONE @ The Cape activity booklet when they visit the Lightstation,” Mr Thompson said.

“As a father of four I understand how much more kids gain from an experience when there are activities and interpretation tailored to them.

“We have boxes of crayons at the Lightkeeper’s CafĂ© so that families can see the exhibition, sit down together, answer the quiz and do some colouring-in.”

Colac Otway Shire residents are entitled to free entry to the Lightstation precinct, which includes the Lighthouse, Telegraph Station, Aboriginal Cultural Centre and World War Two Radar Station.

“Kids always have a ball at the Lightstation, they love climbing to the top of the 1848 lighthouse where they can keep a look-out for whales, learning how people communicated in the days before telephones, email and text messages at the Telegraph Station, and hearing about the culture of the Cape’s indigenous people.”

Mr Thompson said children were also invited to paint an abalone shell during a visit to the Aboriginal Heritage Trail.

The Lightstation is open daily from 9am-5pm.

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