Design chosen for Sydney memorial honouring gay hate victims


acon waverley council designs gay hate crime memorial bondi marks park tamarama
Photo: Urban Art Projects, courtesy of ACON

ACON has unveiled the final design for Sydney’s planned Bondi memorial for victims of historical gay and transgender hate crimes.

Urban Art Projects’ (UAP) design titled “Rise” (pictured) has won out of the six shortlisted designs, unveiled earlier this year.

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The installation honours the victims and survivors targeted in the homophobic and transphobic violence in Eastern Sydney and broader Sydney.

From the 1970s to 90s, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people fell victim to violent hate crimes. Many lost their lives in NSW, including along the Bondi coastline and Marks Park.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said UAP’s winning design embodies the spirit and themes of the Bondi Memorial Project.

The six-level stone terrace represents the six bands of the pride flag. Parkhill said the design incorporates the projects’s principles of “remembrance, diversity, inclusion, justice and acceptance.”

“We know it will serve as a respectful memorial to the victims and help heal the trauma these past events have caused for the families of victims, as well as the LGBTQ community and many local residents,” he said.

“The events of this dark chapter in Sydney’s history have left a painful legacy that continues to be felt today.”

Parkhill said the memorial will help raise greater community awareness of the issue of hate crime.

“[It will] promote the continuing need for relevant information to be brought to the attention of police,” he said.

“[The memorial will also] serve as a reminder of the importance of valuing and celebrating diversity in our community.”

bondi memorial uap rise acon waverley council marks park sydney nsw gay hate

ACON and Waverley Council working on Bondi memorial

ACON and the Waverley Council began developing the public artwork in 2016. Earlier this year, they released the six shortlisted concept designs for feedback.

“I would like to thank everyone who submitted memorial designs, which were all amazing in their own way,” Parkhill said.

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“[I also thank] our communities for making sure their voices were heard in shaping this important monument.”

Waverley Deputy Mayor Elaine Keenan said the design fulfilled all criteria and was a “respectful, engaging and moving” memorial to those lost to hate crime.

To find out more about the project, visit the website here.

Many ‘gay hate’ deaths remain unsolved in NSW

Earlier this year, NSW Police charged a man with the 1988 murder of Scott Johnson in Sydney in an amazing breakthrough.

However, numerous other similar crimes remain unsolved. In 1989, John Russell died at Marks Park.

NSW Police have since acknowledged the gay man’s death was “a probable gay-hate crime”.

Russell’s cousin James Brooking has described the memorial as an important tribute to those lost to hate and prejudice.

“Far too many people were taken away from us during this period,” he said.

“Many cases, like my cousin John, remain unsolved.

“The Bondi Memorial will acknowledge the victims of these horrific crimes and become a symbol of remembrance and healing for our family and all left behind.

“A definite place to go to reflect, seek comfort and pray John is at peace.”

Anyone with information on unsolved crimes is urged to contact Crime Stoppers confidentially on 1800 333 000 or online.

If this has brought up issues for you, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.