Designed collaboratively by Sharyn Egan, a local Noongar artist and Nic Compton, a Northam based artist, the artwork is dedicated to the children and families of the Stolen Generations and is located at Point Walter Reserve in Bicton.
It takes the form of a Jarrah, boomerang-shaped seat, giving the community a space to sit and reflect on the tragedy that was the Stolen Generations, as well as appreciate and respect the resilience of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.
City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said the City engaged with the local Aboriginal community on the location, form and design of the artwork, which is an action of the City’s 2017-2021 Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan.
“We identified as part of our 2017-2021 Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan that there was a desire to investigate the feasibility of a potential Stolen Generations memorial within the City of Melville,” said Mayor Aubrey.
“We went out and spoke to the local Aboriginal community, especially those directly affected by the Stolen Generations, and they agreed that the City should have a memorial but in the shape of a functional piece of art that promotes reflection and healing.
“Point Walter was chosen for its serenity and tranquillity, and a bench was chosen as it naturally invites you to sit and reflect. We have also installed a memorial plaque near the bench that explains the history and legacy of the Stolen Generations.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in this project, especially local Elder, Aunty Marie Taylor who provided much appreciated guidance and support and of course, the artists and those who participated in our community consultation.”
The City of Melville was the first Western Australian Local Government to embark on a Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan. This demonstrates the City’s continuous commitment to improving relationships, opportunities and respect in the community.
For more information or to view a copy of the City’s 2017-2021 Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan, visit www.melvillecity.com.au/rap or contact Community Development Officers (Aboriginal Engagement) Leanne Woods, firstname.lastname@example.org or Shahna Rind, email@example.com.