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Say hello to the Skipping Girl

Proudly powering this Melbourne icon with solar energy.

Skipping Girl Vinegar neon sign

Everyone loves Little Audrey

The Skipping Girl – affectionately known in Melbourne as Little Audrey – was the first animated neon sign in Australia. Originally erected to promote Skipping Girl Vinegar in 1936, and updated to a smaller version in 1970, today she's a bright and shining reminder of times past.

But it wasn't always that way. Little Audrey spent nearly a decade in the dark before the National Trust in Victoria put out a public call to 'Help Audrey Skip Again'. Knowing how much she meant to Melburnians, AGL was quick to join a passionate group, including the Heritage Council of Victoria, the Melbourne Restoration Fund and public supporters, to give her a thorough makeover. After three months in the workshop, and the replacement of 80 neon globes, Little Audrey was returned to her Richmond rooftop home in June 2009, shining brighter than ever.

Historic photo of 'Skipping Girl' vinegar sign with neon outline in black and white.

Skipping on sunshine

We then took a look at Little Audrey's energy needs. Skipping all night long is very energy-intensive. Initially, AGL supplied carbon neutral renewable energy to keep her going. But for her 75th birthday in 2012, we gave her the gift of a constant source of renewable energy by installing a solar PV system.

Today Little Audrey is heritage-listed as one of Victoria's most significant landmarks and powered up in perpetuity so that she can continue to skip merrily throughout the night.

As to who was the original inspiration for the skipping girl on the vinegar bottle logo? Well, that remains a mystery. Some say it was a local milk bar owner's daughter, others that she was a girl who later became a nun in Frankston. Either way, we know one thing for sure - Melbourne loves her.

Iconic 'Skipping Girl' neon sign illuminated at twilight.

Little Audrey's story

The story behind Little Audrey is as colourful as the historic neon sign itself.

The late Irene Barron was just 13 years old when she won a drawing competition for a position at Claude Neon, where she worked as a junior artist.

When the sign was created by the company, a model was needed to display the movement of the skipping rope – Irene was selected due to her height.

After skipping for hours in a dress made by her own mother, Little Aubrey was then erected in 1936 over the Skipping Girl Vinegar factory in Abbotsford, before relocating to its current site at 651 Victoria St in the 1960s.

Learn more about what makes her such an important part of Melbourne's past, which AGL has been proud to help protect since 2009.


Any enquiries about Little Audrey should be made to Vantage Property Investments, who manage her ongoing maintenance: