The Iceberg’s Remain Afloat

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Lauren Fitzpatrick


The Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club has become a celebration of the national traditions that are inherent to the site. However the Club has redefined itself in contemporary society by adopting a ‘heritage’ discourse, where the traditions have in themselves a ‘modern character’. This paper explores how this continuity of traditions represents cultural forms, and the impact of external pressures and progress in modern society, with a particular focus on the growth of consumerism. These traditions have also developed along with the growing personality of the Bondi area. The Swimming Club has attempted to maintain the traditions of the Club, retaining its position as the only licensed Winter Swimming Club in the world. Yet its transformation from a tin shed directed at improving fitness of the local surf club members, into a Swimming Club with a four-storey space, complete with club and restaurant facilities drawing local and international celebrities, has resulted in a focus on the aesthetically pleasing building in the heart of Bondi. This is opposed to the swimming facilities and activities it has to offer. Although the Club has remained a social hub over time, this hub is centred on the different interests in the various time periods. 

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