Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

The Opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932)

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Official ceremony

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

From an elevated position, the camera pans over the gathered crowds in attendance for the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrations. Commentator John Harper begins an enthusiastic commentary which conveys the thrill and excitement of the event.

NSW Governor Sir Philip Game gives a speech congratulating people on the completion of the Bridge. As the Governor speaks, a mother grapples with her active son as he fidgets in the background.

Curator’s notes

Historical footage such as this provides insights to society and culture in the past in a way unique to the audiovisual medium. It can provide vivid snapshots of lived moments that carry forward into the present. The young boy in the background, unable to keep still, is one of these moments. At a later part of the Governor’s speech, the increasingly fidgety boy actually starts to bite the hand of the woman standing next to him! These images convey a spontaneous moment of childhood which almost overshadows the Governor’s important speech. Looking at this detail over 70 years later, it is difficult not to imagine who this person was, what he’s doing now, or if he’s still alive.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer Official ceremony from the newsreel The Opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a high quality video download.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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