This week the Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has unveiled the designs for the National Workers Memorial to be located in Kings Park Canberra. The memorial is designed to recognise those workers who have died from workplace accidents or workplace contracted disease.
The memorial will cost $3 million dollars and will provide a focal point for the national commemeration of Workers Memorial Day, recognised internationally on April 28th each year.
The chosen designs, selected from the 26 entrants of the design competition held by the National Capital Authority, were submitted by Sydney-based architectural firm John Pilton Walker. The firm has experience in creating structures of this sensitive nature.
The design of the memorial features eight stone-clad columns which, when seen from above, are laid out to resemble the shape of Australia. The eight columns represent capital cities for the states and territories, with the stone cladding used on each unique to the state which it represents.
Chairing the Jury was NSW Labor Senator Doug Cameron, who has stated the memorial will now hold a vital function in promoting workplace safety.
”The memorial will serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of work health and safety and the need for a determined and continued effort by all to prevent work-related accidents and disease,” says Cameron.
He proceeded to say the memorial reflects Australian culture as it pertains to safety in the workplace.
“It will also be a place to reflect on the evolving values, ideas and aspirations of the Australian community in relation to work health and safety,” Cameron says.
The design has been widely praised by the public as being elegant in its simplicity and a fitting tribute to those who have been affected by workplace incidents.
The memorial is set to open in March 2013 in time for the annual Workers’ Memorial day in April.
pdf National Memorial for Workers for more information.