|National Workers Memorial|
The National Workers Memorial was unveiled 28 April 2013, in Kings Park Canberra to honour Australians who have lost their lives to work-related accidents, incidents or disease. The National Workers Memorial celebrates the vital contribution and achievement of Australian workers to the building of this nation.
The Memorial features a series of tall, slender columns representing the contributions and sacrifice of workers from each state and territory in Australia. From each column, concentric ripples radiate out until they intersect to create a public plaza. This ripple effect acknowledges the profound impact work-related loss has on communities and families.
A website has been developed to link with the Memorial, providing an online space for family and community members to interact and find more information about work health and safety issues. Click here to visit the National Workers Memorial website [External Link].
Background to the Memorial
In May 2011, the Australian Government provided funding of $3.0 million for the design and construction of a National Workers Memorial. A design competition was held in late 2011, with the winner selected by an independent jury from a competitive pool of twenty-six entries.
The Memorial is located in Kings Park Canberra on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Kings Park forms part of the Canberra Central Parklands which are nationally significant because of their place in the Griffin Plan and for their unique blending of commemorative and natural landscapes.
The memorial site is set into the side of an elevated area overlooking the lake among a group of Eurabbie or Blue Gums (Eucalyptus Bicostata).
The winning design for the National Workers Memorial was announced at Parliament House on 14 March 2012. The design titled 'Workers Glade' was developed by Sydney based architecture firm Johnson Pilton Walker. The National Workers Memorial comprises six key spaces:
The making of the 'Workers Glade' has its own story - a story written in materials, craft and collaboration.
A Place to Gather
From the lakeside a forested pathway climbs beside an open terrace. The Memorial is glimpsed through the trees, nestling quietly into the hillside. A new space is created by additional mass plantings of red and yellow box (Eucalyptus melliodora and Eucalyptus polyanthermos). A place of congregation and celebration.
A Place of Understanding
At the end of the path is an interpretative panel. This panel introduces the Memorial purpose with drawings, photos and text whilst highlighting the overarching value of Knowledge in the prevention of work-related deaths.
A Place of Remembrance
Emerging from the new forest, the visitor encounters a natural swale, crossed via a bridge flanked by fragrant rosemary hedges (Rosmarinus officianus). Visitors are invited to pick a sprig of rosemary to make a tribute at the memorial. The entrance is marked with the quote: every worker has the right to return home each day. This important threshold acknowledges the sense of loss and invites the visitor to experience the Memorial.
A Place of the People
The visitor arrives at the Memorial glade itself and first encounters eight stone columns positioned to outline a map of Australia. Each is symbolically dedicated to the communities, families and workers (the people) of each state and territory and one's home.
The columns are to be crafted from stone sourced from places as varied as the alpine reaches of Tasmania, to the tropical regions of the Northern Territory. The finishes are smooth to the touch, and subdued in the light:
A Place of the Values and Actions
Concentric ripples radiate from each column and overlap to form a shared, public plaza. This ripple effect acknowledges the profound impact work related loss has on communities and families.
At the foot of each column is a metal baseplate engraved with a Value, from which emanates a series of ripples leading to a second engraved inlay with an inspiring quote applicable to each Value.
A Place of Rest
Nestled into the hillside, at the rear of the Memorial, is a terrace and seating; a place of refuge from the sun and the wind. A location to pause and reflect within earshot of the National Carillon's bells. Eight eucalypts provide shade to this final place of the 'Workers Glade'.
A Place to Engage
A dedicated website tells the many stories behind the values and actions at the centre of the Memorial. Significantly the website highlights the importance of work health and safety issues and provides an online space for family and community members to visit. Click here to visit the website.
Values and their Meaning
Australia's achievements in work health and safety are built on values that create safe and healthy work. These values were important historic drivers and continue to be relevant today.
The following values form the foundation of the Memorial:
|Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 12:19|