the Pool



Narrated by Richard Roxburgh, The Pool is a two-part documentary series exploring Australian identity through our love affair with these cobalt-blue bodies of water. Episode one features the pool as our hedonistic playground, while episode two plunges beneath the surface, focusing on the pool as our battleground, a place of protest and progress for race, sexuality and gender.

We are the world capital of pools – Australia boasts more than 100 ocean pools, more than 1000 public pools and more than one million backyard pools – per capita, we boast the highest number of backyard pools on Earth. The pool is where we splash around as kids, chase Olympic-sized dreams as teens, keep fit as adults and gather as a multicultural community of equals.

Stripped to our budgie smugglers or boardies, bikinis or burqinis, we all have nostalgic memories of the pool – relief from the blistering heat, the sting of chlorine, the terror of the school swim carnival, poolside fashion, bellyflops, bombs and dives. The pool is also a coveted public space where communities have fought for access and acceptance – from the 1965 Freedom Ride to Moree to the fight to keep public pools open, unlike any other country our pools play a pivotal part in our lives.

Credit: Mint Pictures

To view the series head to ABC iView ‘The Pool’.

Find out more about ocean pools or take a tour of the ocean pools in NSW.