Cyclone at heart of exhibit
Details of exhibitions planned for Exmouth’s under-construction Ningaloo Centre are starting to be revealed, and so far they include a town museum and a so-called “cyclone experience”.
Shire of Exmouth chief executive Bill Price said the Ningaloo Centre would include three different exhibitions: a marine exhibit showcasing the stunning coast, a terrestrial exhibit about Cape Range and a “quasi-museum” of the town’s general history called Enroute to Exmouth.
“Enroute to Exmouth will include the major historical features and stories of Exmouth,” he said.
“It will be about the war and the HEH (Harold E Holt Naval Communication Station) and America and indigenous history, and all the things that are our history. And cyclones are definitely in it as a big part of our history.”
Exmouth has been hard-hit by cyclones in recent decades, with Vance in 1999 and Olwyn in 2015 causing severe damage.
“Cyclone Vance is still the most powerful cyclone to hit mainland Australia,” Mr Price said.
“There needs to be an interpretation for an exhibition.”
“It’s going to have a local feel to it, and it’s likely to involve a bit of an experience as well, not just a stagnant sign.”
National exhibition design company Freeman Ryan Design is designing all three Ningaloo Centre exhibitions.
Co-founder and director Susan Freeman said the cyclone experience component of Enroute to Exmouth would show what it was like for residents to live through a severe cyclone.
“It’s not just a science centre experience,” she said.
“In part it is about what people might physically experience, but largely it is about personal experiences that people in Exmouth would have experienced (in a cyclone).
“It’s important because it’s been such a shaping experience for people who’ve been through it. The point is two significant cyclones are in the living memory of the people who are there now.”
The Ningaloo Centre building is scheduled to be finished in February 2017, and exhibitions will open that April.