Last year, Tasmania began building a memorial garden for people who have been killed at work. South Australia has the Don Gage Memorial Walk. Queensland unveiled its new workers’ memorial on 28 April 2010. The Australian government has finally sought to establish a national memorial in Canberra in support of the International Day of Mourning.
According to media statements from the Minister for Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard, and Senator Doug Cameron (former National Secretary Australian Manufacturing Workers Union) a committee will look into establishing an appropriate memorial in Canberra.
Cameron stated that
“I believe that a memorial dedicated to the memory of all Australian workers who have been killed in the workplace or as a result of diseases contracted in the workplace is long overdue.
Such a memorial would provide a national focal point for Australia’s commemoration of Workers’ Memorial Day and would honour working Australians who have tragically lost their lives as a result of work related injury or disease.”
Gillard reported said
“…that Senator Doug Cameron had worked hard on the establishment of the memorial and commended him for his tireless efforts to bring to attention the public sacrifice of all workers who have lost their lives at work.”
The committee will comprise
- Senator Gary Humphries (Liberal Party),
- Senator Kate Lundy (ALP),
- Senator John Williams (National Party) and
- Senator Rachel Siewert (Australian Greens).
A spokesperson for Senator Cameron told SafetyAtWorkBlog that the first stage of the project will be to present a brief to the National Capital Memorials Committee which meets next in June 2010. Depending on the outcomes of that meeting, the committee may consider establishing a design competition with a possible unveiling ceremony sometime around late-2012.
5 thoughts on “Australia to get a national workers’ memorial”
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Work Injured Resouce Connection has established 3 Memorials for those who have lost their lives due to the workplace or to the WorkCover system.
1: there is a Memorial pillar in Pennington Gardens it was unveiled by Keith Brown CEO WorkCover in 2000. This is where whenever WIRC hears of a workplace fatal or suicide we go to lay flowers and release a balloon in respect for the family and the life lost.
2: the Deceased Workers Memorial Forest in Bonython Park, which after planting trees yesterday now has 140 trees and ground covers. The Deceased Workers Memorial Forest was established in 2003.
3: the Don Gage Memorial Walk this Walk is to honor the lives taken tragically due to suicide as the result of the workplace or WorkCover system.
Work Injured Resource Connection is a not-for-profit association that recieves no funding to do any of the work that is needed 7 days a week 24 hours a day.
It is good that there is going to be a National Memorial in Canberra. However if the Memorial is just a \”feel good\” thing then it will have no impact on anyone. If all that ever happens on International Day of Mourning is cheap shots about unsafe workplaces and unsafe work practices and then when the ceremony is over everyone attending returns to the very same unsafe workplace then the Memorial will have failed.
I invite Senator Doug Cameron to walk with me through the Deceased Workers Memorial Forest and to hold a balloon so that when he releases it, he can feel the agony of letting a life slip away. Then when Senator Doug Cameron returns to Canberra he can take with him the knowing of what a true Memorial is about.