On Wednesday 25 May, the two artists were revealed who have been chosen to design the War Memorial in ANZAC Square for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women. Lorraine Hatton, Co-chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Committee Queensland (ATSIDMCQ) told a gathering in ANZAC Square that John Smith Gumbula and Liam Hardy would design and build the Memorial.
The Smith Gumbula Hardy design was on display, together with maquettes from three other finalists, at the Museum of Brisbane during December 2015 and January 2016. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that more than 35,000 people attended the Museum during this period where the four artists’ designs were prominently on display.
The Smith Gumbula Hardy design is a complex allegorical work which relates to a narrative composed by Smith Gumbula, a Wakka Wakka man. (read more here)
Dame Quentin Bryce – who together with co-patron Dr Noel Hayman, leads the fundraising effort for the project – said Queensland’s dedicated memorial was a community-driven project and an important act of recognition and reconciliation.
“In symbolic terms, this is such an important occasion because we haven’t told the stories, as we should have, of the magnificent contribution of thousands of Indigenous men and women who have served in our defence forces,” she said.
The Lord Mayor said Indigenous veterans have been honoured for the past eight years in a ceremony at Anzac Square as part of National Reconciliation Week, so it was a fitting location for a dedicated memorial.
ATSIDMCQ is a volunteer-led committee seeking community, corporate and government support to fund the design, construction and installation of the memorial. Griffith’s Development and Alumni team will play a key role in supporting the ATSIDMCQ during the fundraising campaign.
Professor Paul Mazerolle, Pro Vice Chancellor of Griffith's Arts, Education and Law (AEL) group, has played a major role in promoting and coordinating the University's support for this important project.