Rughooking & Surf Lifsaving

1_nsw_dawn_hollins_one_of_seven_hooked_panels_by_bermagui_u3a_rughooking_groupnswaustraliaThe Bermagui & District U3A Rughooking Group’s community project began almost two years ago, in early 2015. It was conceived by Dawn Hollins, who organized the group in Bermagui, a coastal town 380k (about a 5-hour drive) south of Sydney. 

The group undertook a challenge to create a 7m (23ft) hooked installation to be hung on the wall of the clubhouse of the Bermagui Surf Lifesaving Club to help absorb noise.

At that time, Lin Potter, the only experienced rug hooker in the U3A group, became the instructor for the twelve women involved in the project none of whom had any previous knowledge of rughooking. 

Some of Bermagui&Dist_U3A_Rug_hookers working on project for the Surf Club

The design was based on a panorama of the area drawn full size on paper by artist Rona Walker and then transferred to the hessian panels. The rug hookers added their own personal touches such as birds, surfers, vehicles and even a hot-air balloon!


The 7metre wall hanging was hooked in panels 1m wide x 1.4m high intended to hang separately but close together.  The weight of each piece was considerable – the construction of the elevated wall section was assessed before the design was transferred to the hessian panels.


By the end of November 2016 the panels were all ready to install.





On the 15th December 2016 – with all the panels installed, and over 100 U3A and Surf Club members and dignitaries in attendance, Dawn gave a presentation on the design, creation and installation of this project and it was officially dedicated to the Bermagui Surf Club by Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP Member for Eden-Monaro.

 This is an amazing series of works considering it was completed by novice rughookers who not only had to learn to hook as they began, but also had to learn how to finish off the pieces and work out how it was going to be installed – no mean feat when dealing with such large works, especially when they had to be hung so high in the air.

Members of the Rughooking Group are to be commended for completing such an amazing project – the Surf Club members must surely be pleased.

Dawn says –

“Now this project is finished some will continue with group and we will run teaching workshops next year to encourage new members.

We ran a workshop at the local school on 3rd November (Grandparents Day) where we taught 60 Grade 3 & 4 children and gave them hemmed hessian pieces, hooks and fabric strips so that they could continue in craft sessions. It was pretty full-on but they were very keen and their teachers were delighted! “

jo_franco_australian_rugmakers_guild_editor__membership_chair_2016-copyWell Done Ladies!  We look forward to seeing what you do to follow this in 2017.

Jo Franco, Editor/Membership Chair

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