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Dunny Day

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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dunny, toilet, artist, henley, adelaide, protesters, joes kiosk, kiosk, andrew baines
Protestors at Henley Show Toilet Humour

I must admit that when I first started writing for Weekend Notes I didn't expect to be discoursing about dunnies in Adelaide, although I did manage to slip a section about a toilet into an article about urban exploration in Adelaide.

But after receiving an unusual request from internationally noted surrealist artist Andrew Baines, here is my first article to celebrate the common commode.

It all started with Joe's Kiosk in Henley Beach South, one of the last of the sea front kiosks around Adelaide. It's a very popular place with the coffee clan in the western suburbs, located just down the road from Henley Square, and near where the salt water Henley Pool once stood adjacent to the surf lifesaving club. (Does anyone remember the Bush biscuits they sold at the pool?)

Joe's Kiosk and his coffee is so popular that the lack of nearby toilet facilities became a pressing problem for his customers, and Joe has been campaigning unsuccessfully for many years to get the situation remedied. Despite a tireless campaign Joe's efforts were in vain, until he hit on a new strategy.

With the support of local artist Andrew Baines, a rather unusual beachside protest was staged last year. Rather than marching to demonstrate solidarity with the cause, protest participants staged a sit-in - on dunnies!

Twelve protesters including former immigration minister Amanda Vanstone and Adelaide radio personality Bob Francis dressed in black suits with bowler hats for the occasion. Posed on pristine potties on the beach, the political protesters pleaded and pressed the City of Charles Sturt to install suitable facilities in the local area.

The protest went viral, attracting major media attention in Adelaide and overseas, resulting in the council finally agreeing to plumb in the necessary potties.

On Thursday March 6 at 7am the new toilet at Henley Beach South will be officially opened by Mayor Kirsten Alexander, and the day will be officially designated as Dunny Day.

To celebrate, dozens of volunteers wearing all black and holding toilet rolls aloft in a clenched fist will form a long patient line outside the toilet - another brilliant photo opportunity for our ingenious artist.

If you would like to participate, please email Andrew Baines for more information at It promises to be more fun than any sitting of parliament!

dunny, toilet, artist, henley, adelaide, protesters, joes kiosk, kiosk, andrew baines, derelict
A Derelict Dunny at the Seafront in Adelaide

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Why? Protests are fun
When: 7am
Where: Esplanade, Henley Beach
Cost: Free
Your Comment
haha! I love Andrew Baines's work - so clever. I'll be there!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3620) 2453 days ago
Fantastic idea (memorable image)...
by Jenny Pickett (score: 3|1716) 2453 days ago
I just think this is so great, and so typical of political stalling. Great fun article; great fun idea and great fun to do it - I have no doubt. You've done it again, Dave, highlighted the quirky and unique in Adelaide, yet again. What a hoot! Really? Amanda Vanstone on a potty??????
by curiouser&curiouser (score: 2|526) 2451 days ago
Hooray! At long last - we've all been holding on for a very long time for this!! :)
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3620) 2360 days ago
Clever idea with excellent result. Brilliant & fun photo - typical Andrew Baines! Thanks Dave, & I agree with curiouser&curiouser, you really know how to get under the skin & show Adelaide's most interesting side: my favourite stories in WeekendNotes.
by jellybean (score: 1|50) 2448 days ago
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