Love him or hate him, Daniel Andrews has become a fixture of life under lockdown. And when you’ve had more than your daily recommended intake of Victorian premier (which, in normal times, I would place at one to five minutes a week), you can do some strange things – like tell your bored kids to recreate the press conference set with Lego.
That’s what Melbourne-based designer Shaun Peipert asked his two kids, eight-year-old Amelia and 10-year-old Harry, to do. And they’ve absolutely nailed it. Their diorama – made entirely out of Lego – features journalists, photographers, interpreters and the man himself. The level of detail is astonishing, from the background to the microphones, the dictaphones and the socially-distanced minifigs (two of whom are wearing Lego facemasks).
“[The press conferences are] all they see at the moment,” Peipert tells Broadsheet. “Most days I watch the press conference, and my kids, they’re running inside – at the moment it’s school holidays – and they say, ‘I’m bored Dad, what can we build?’”
Usually, Peipert suggests a new Lego project to keep them occupied. This time though, he was busy working – and fresh out of ideas. So he pointed at the screen and said, “I don’t know – this?”
“Next thing I know,” he says, “they’re into it and they’re putting it together.”
Soon, Ninjago ninja masks had become face masks and purple bricks from the Lego Friends line were used to nail the shade of the “Staying Apart Keeps Us Together” backdrop we all know so well by now. The premier is wearing a suit instead of his much-memed North Face jacket, so we can safely surmise we’re not looking at a happy announcement (maybe it’s set on September 6?). And spare a thought for the Auslan interpreter: having Lego hands must make her job very difficult.
Between the daily press conferences and having homework about Daniel Andrews and the Victorian government’s lockdown response, Amelia and Harry are having to process a lot more than many of us had to at their age. Most of all, they just want to get back to school, in person.
“They’re desperate to get back,” says Peipert. “Every morning Harry comes in and asks me ‘what’re the numbers?’ Because he knows the lower it gets, the closer he is to going back to school.”
A 10-year-old who’s desperate to go to school. This really is a weird year.