Hats are always part of the Sydney Royal Show scene, but there were more than usual represented at a special show venue book launch by the Akubra company last weekend.
Akubra – Australia’s best known headwear brand – hosted more than 200 people from varied backgrounds around Australia when releasing its corporate coffee table publication “Akubra handcrafted history”.
Heritage and contemporary hats from Akubra’s own collection were on show, while guests turned up to the Royal’s Skydeck function wearing their own old and new favourites in various shapes, sizes, styles and colours.
Guests ranged from inner city milliners to Akubra hat retailers from as far away as Winton in western Queensland, customers and friends and family members connected with the business.
Master of ceremonies and Channel Nine reporter and newsreader, Peter Overton, recounted his own Akubra hat’s multiple journeys around Australia and overseas from Uganda to the USA.
He described the Akubra hat, and the Keir family which has made its iconic rabbit fur hat range for more than a century, as part of the fabric of Australia.
Keir family matriarch, Wendy Keir, joined her son, managing director, Stephen, and daughters Stacey and Nikki, in launching the 200 page collage of historic stories and photographs from the company’s archives and outside sources including the Australian War Memorial, Fairfax Media and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
Family members, direct descendants of the company’s founder Benjamin Dunkerley and his son-in-law Stephen Keir, began working on the heritage publication 18 months ago.
The company was started by Dunkerley in Hobart in 1874, later moving to Sydney where the Akubra name was registered in 1912, then to a new factory at Kempsey on the NSW Mid North Coast in 1974.
The book, compiled by Bounce Books principal Neil Montagana-Wallace, is available for $69.95 direct from Akubra, through Akubra hat retailers, and The Rural Bookshop.
- To order Akubra handcrafted history, contact, 1800 025 308.