This week marks a special anniversary for the legendary Darwin Rocksitters Club. The Rocksitters, as many locals remember, were a group who gathered at East Point Reserve on Saturday afternoons to sink a few tinnies and spin a few yarns as the rising tides lapped at their feet. Their pastime turned competitive when they made their first world record attempt in 1977, sitting for five long days. But their record didn't last long. Just one month later a group from New Zealand, the Parua Bay Sitters, answered the challenge by surviving six days on their own bunch of rocks. Not to be defeated, the Darwin crew reclaimed the title, 40 years ago this week, with a marathon eight-day sit (pictured here). The world record they set with their subsequent 12-day sit in 1980 still stands.


Picture: Northern Territory Archives Service, Government Photographer collection


Published: 14 October 2018

Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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These works were made on Arrernte, Larrakia, Gaddigal and Lenape land that was never ceded