The life of Storm Boy started in 1964, with Australian author, Colin Thelie (16 November 1920 – 4 September 2006) writing the children's book about a boy and his pelican. The book concentrates on the boy's relationship with his father, the pelican and an Aboriginal man called Fingerbone Bill and is based right here in the Alexandrina region.
- Above: Storm Boy by Colin Theile, the original cover on the left, alongside more recent versions
- Above: Coorong National Park, South Australia - Photo Credit: SATC
In 1976, the book was made into a feature film. With filming on the Fleurieu Peninsula and Coorong regions of South Australia.
Towns in the Alexandrina region including Goolwa and Port Elliot were featured in the film, along with a number of other locations including the Meningie Lakes, Limestone Coast and along both the Sir Richard and Younghusband Peninsulas of the Coorong National Park.
Storm Boy went on to win a number of awards including the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film in 1977, not to mention a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festval and a screening at the White House on President Carter's special request! You can read a fantastic synopsis of the film from SBS Movies here, where Storm Boy is broken down to discover why the film is so important and what it really is about.
See the trailer of 'Storm Boy' below
- Above: Storm Boy Promotional Posters 1976 - Photo Credit: South Australian Film Commission
2016 saw the 40th Anniversary since the Storm Boy film was released with celebrations accross the district. Alexandrina Council celebrated with a commemorative screening of the film in the town's Centenary Hall in Goolwa.
Special guests included Bill Cox, a former Teacher’s College student of Colin Thiele’s and a longstanding volunteer from the Goolwa Library History Room, Avis Rohde (nee Thiele) who is Colin Thiele’s sister and the family of John Baily. John was the illustrator of Storm Boy and a colleague and friend of Colin Thiele and they spent many hours fishing together on the Coorong.
The original boat from the film, 'Hideaway,' was also on display, thanks to the dedicated band of volunteers from Armfield Slip Wooden Boats, who have painstakingly restored her. When in Goolwa, you can visit Armfield Slip Wooden Boats on Tuesdays and Fridays to see 'Hideaway' and other interesting projects currently underway.
- Above: Crowds flock to Centenary Hall, Goolwa, for the 40 year anniversary screening of Storm Boy - Photo Credit: The Victor Harbor Times
- Above: The hardworking volunteers of Armfield Slip Wooden Boats, Goolwa, with Alexandrina Mayor Keith Parkes and the restored 'Hideaway' - Photo Credit: The Victor Harbor Times
In 2017, a re-make of Storm Boy was created in various locations around the Fleurieu Peninsula and Alexandrina District including Goolwa, The Coorong and Port Elliot. The film, starring Geoffrey Rush and Jai Courtney will be released in 2018.
To purchase the Storm Boy book or DVD, please contact the Goolwa Visitor Information Centre.
Click here to book a Coorong Boat cruise or Canoe trip.
Take a self-guided adventure and experience the Storm Boy Discovery Trail.