Australian Sailor Monument Appeal Launched

Australian Sailor Monument Appeal Launched

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith joined the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, and the Trustees of the Australian Sailor Monument to launch the Australian Sailor Monument Appeal in Fremantle, Western Australia, on August 2.

The Australian Sailor Monument will be erected at North Node, Rous Head, Fremantle. Fremantle is the appropriate place for such a monument, given the city’s close historical association with the Royal Australian Navy.

The site, which has been made available by the Fremantle Port Authority, is particularly suited to the monument as it represents the last point of the Australian mainland seen by sailors before they sailed into the vast Indian Ocean and beyond. It was, for example, the last point of land seen by HMAS Sydney and its 645 ship’s company as it departed on its last voyage.

The Fremantle Authority has undertaken to landscape the surrounding area to create a community park.

The monument will specifically acknowledge the role of the sailor in Australian’s history and reflect the values of honour, honesty, courage, integrity and loyalty displayed by Royal Australian Navy sailors for over a century.

The monument is proposed to include a bronze sculpture of a sailor leaving home to join his ship, a structure imbued with symbolic imagery that will also act as a sundial, and a series of independent, free standing ‘centenary’ walls designed to resemble a flotilla of ships tied up in harbour. Combined, these will provide a unique and lasting tribute to those men and women sailors who have served Australia valiantly both in peacetime and in war.

The monument will be able to function as a place for special ceremonies and commemorations, and also as a place of solitary contemplation and quiet remembrance.

It is very appropriate that such a project is launched in the same year that Navy celebrates the centenary of the arrival of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet into Sydney.

The total cost of designing and constructing the monument is estimated at $1.5 million. The Australian Government has demonstrated its full support for this project by contributing $250,000 towards its construction. The Western Australia State Government has also contributed $250,000.

Vice Admiral Griggs today announced the Royal Australian Navy would contribute a further $150,000.

The remaining $1 million will need to be funded by private contributions through the Australian Sailor Monument Appeal.

Press Release, August 6, 2013; Image: RAN