In the early 1800s swimming at Sydney's beaches was a controversial pastime Convicts were forbidden from bathing in Sydney Harbour because of” the dangers of sharks and stingrays, and for reasons of decorum." By the 1830's sea bathing was a popular activity despite being offcially banned between 9.00am and 8.00pm.
During the 1900s these restrictive attitudes began to relax and the beach became associated with health, leisure and democracy-a playground everyone could enjoy equally.
A popular spot
There is clear evidence---in the form of significant Aboriginal rock carvings in particular-that Aboriginal people occupied sites in the area now known as Waverley in the period before European settlement. An important type of tool was first found in the region and is still known as the Bondi point. A number of place names within Waverley, most famously Bondi, have been based on words derived from Aboriginal languages of the Sydney region.
The beginnings of the suburb go back to 1809, when the early road builder, William Roberts, received from Governor Bligh a grant of 81 hectares of what is now most of the business and residential area of Bondi Beach
In 1851, Edward Smith Hall and Francis O'Brien purchased 200 acres of the Bondi area that embraced almost the whole frontage of Bondi Beach, and it was named the "The Bondi Estate." Between 1855 and 1877 O'Brien purchased Hall's share of the land, renamed the land the "O'Brien Estate," and made the beach and the surrounding land available to the public as a picnic ground and amusement resort.
As the beach became increasingly popular, O'Brien threatened to stop public beach access. However, the Municipal Council believed that the Government needed to intervene to make the beach a public reserve. It was not until June 9, 1882, that the Government acted and Bondi Beach finally became a public beach.
Waverley Council built the first surf bathing sheds in about 1903 and by 1929 an average of 60,000 people were visiting the beach on a summer weekend day. The opening of the pavilion that year attracted an estimated crowd of up to 200 000.
By the 1930s Bondi was drawing not only local visitors but also people from elsewhere in Austria and overseas. Advertising at the time referred to Bondi Beach as the ‘Playground of the Pacific."
Bondi Beach hosted the beach volleyball competition at the 2000 Summer Olympics. A temporary 10,000-seat stadium, a much smaller stadium, 2 warm-up courts, and 3 training courts were set up to host the tournament.
Bondi Beach is the end point of the City to Surf Fun Run, the largest running event in the world, which is held each year in August. The race attracts over 63 ,000 entrants who complete the 14 km run from the central business district of Sydney to Bondi Beach. Other annual activities at Bondi Beach include Flickerfest, Australia’s premier international short film festival in January, World Environment Day in June, and Sculpture By the Sea in November. In addition to many activities, the Bondi Beach Markets are open every Sunday.
The surf lifesaving movement
The increasing popularity of sea bathing during the late 1800s and early 1900s raised concerns about public safety and how to prevent people from drowning. In response, the world's first formally documented surf lifesaving club, the Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club, was formed in 1907. Surf patrol members wearing their distinctive red and yellow quartered caps first appeared at Bondi that summer.Many key features of surf rescue were established in those early years, including several Australian inventions.
From Bondi, the surf lifesaving movement spread initially through New South Wales and then to the rest of Australia and the world With the reassuring presence of surf lifesavers on duty, beaches became places of exhilarating swimming and surfing rather than potential tragedy.
Along with the digger and the bushman, the surf lifesaver held an iconic place in Australia's cultural imagery. The lifesaver grew to become an accepted feature of the beach and a symbol of what was seen to be good about being Australian.
This was powerfully reinforced by the dramatic events of “ Black Sunday" at Bondi in 1938 Some 35,000 people were on the beach and a large group of lifesavers were about to start a surf race when three freak waves hit the beach, sweeping hundreds of people out to sea. Lifesavers rescued 300 people.The largest mass rescue in the history of surf bathing confirmed the place of the lifesaver in the national imagination.
Today, Surf Life Saving Australia is one of the largest and most successful nationwide associations of volunteers dedicated to protecting the safety of beach goers. Surf lifesavers have rescued over 520,000 people in the 80 years since records have been kept.
Sharks and shark nets
Since 1937, not one person has died from a shark attack at Bondi. However there are still regular shark sightings at Bondi Swimmers are alerted to the presence of sharks when they are detected, but the first line of defence for many decades has been shark nets.
Shark nets are used on open ocean beaches in QLD and NSW.They are simply a straight, rectangular piece of net suspended in the water between buoys，They are anchored at either end, usually about 200 metres from shore, in about 10 metres of water：Most shark nets stretch about 200 metres along the beach and down to a depth of 6 metres Floats at the top and sinkers at the bottom keep the net upright.
in the water.The mesh holes are 50cm wide; small enough to entangle sharks, and other large marine species, but big enough to leave smaller fish alone.The nets, however, are not intended to form a complete barrier, and sharks can still get through. The nets act as a deterrent by interrupting the territorial swimming patterns of sharks. In a typical 20km stretch of coastal surf beach, a strip of net will be set up every couple of kilometres along the beach.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage? In boxes l…10 on your answer sheet, write YES NO NOT GIVEN
If the statement ages with the claims of the writer
if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
1. Not many people liked to swim at Sydney’s beaches in the early 1800s.
2. Criminals were prohibited from bathing in Sydney Harbour because they were dangerous to public.
3. The Government bought back Bondi beach from O'Brien to make it open to public.
4. Bondi Beach is a popular place in sports world.
5. Bondi Beach is the most famous beach in Australia.
6. The official surf lifesaving movement originated from Bondi.
7. The digger and the bushman also work at the beach to rescue surfers.
8. Thanks to lifesavers no one drowned on “Black Sunday”
9. Shark nets are very effective in protecting swimmers.
10. No shark can pass through the shark nets.