A little bit of history
On September 16th 1961, a small group of enthusiastic & passionate locals formed a Committee to help promote the benefits to the region of the emerging tuna industry, and so Tunarama was born.
This festival date of the last weekend in January originally coincided with the fishing fleet putting to sea. The fleet sail past, which remains an integral part of every Festival, was a way for friends and family to wave goodbye to their loved ones who were likely to be away at sea for months at a time. A local priest stood on the Town Jetty and blessed the fleet as it sailed away.
Nowadays, with increased technology and the advent of the aquaculture industry - which has seen the end of the tuna poling method - the tuna fishing operations in Port Lincoln have changed but the Festival has remained an eagerly anticipated date on the region's Summer calendar.
Since its inception, the festival has gone from strength to strength - becoming South Australia's largest regional festival and one of the longest continuously running community events in Australia. In 2020, the SA Government announced that the Tunarama Festival had injected approximately $3.1million and created between 600 - 800 jobs into the LEP region. More than 15,000 people attended over the 3 days, with approx. 35% being visitors from SA, nationally & internationally.
The Tunarama Festival is owned by Port Lincoln Tunarama Incorporated (PLTI) and managed by an annually elected volunteer Committee. Funded almost entirely by sponsorship, grants and donations from individuals, businesses and our community, Tunarama relies on the dozens of volunteers who help make the Festival come to life each year.
2021/2022 Tunarama Committee
2022 Festival Coordinator:
Janine Le Brun
President & Public Officer: Sharon Humenick
Vice President: Mike Wright
Secretary: Deb Wright
Treasurer: Jess Stevens
2022 Quest Coordinator: Hazel Manning
Belinda Currie (2020/2021 Tunarama Ambassador)
Barbara Carey; Mic Gill; Sharon Humenick; Noel Linsell; Gary Maclure;
Deb McLeery; Ian McLeery; Kevin Page; Bob Prout & June Prout