Birdman Rally

A Melbourne tradition as old as the hills

As our rather excellent history of Moomba will tell you, this is a Melbourne tradition that's old as the hills. Or as old as 1976, anyway, which is old around here. Competitors with flying contraptions launch themselves off a platform and into the murky Yarra River. Good luck to you all, we say (time out melbourne)

Modern anthropology has tended to move away from static or timeless notion of tradition implied by custom towards analysis of the act of creating cultural systems through the process of social interaction.

Invented traditions are essentially a process of formalization and ritualization, characterized by reference to the past, if only by imposing repetition.

Birdman is an invented tradition

The Birdman mascots Harriet and Percy

The Birdman mascots Harriet and Percy

In 2012 I created the birdman mascots Percy and Harriet

Harriet the Hawk from Healesville and Percy the Penguin from Phillip Island. They were created to support the two birdman categories: the flying crafts and the custom entries. I created the characters, gave them back stories and narratives and the scripted the on-day screen and performance content.


  • Large wings – good for flying
  • Sharp eyes
  • Energy


  • Can’t Fly
  • Charming good looks
  • Fun and Lovable

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