Conrad Gargett is proud to have played a pivotal role in bringing to life Queensland’s first dedicated State indigenous war memorial in Brisbane’s ANZAC Square, in what was a highly rewarding pro bono project that spanned several years.
Unveiled in a ceremony on 27 May by the Queensland Premier, Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk and Lord Mayor Hon Adrian Schrinner, the memorial recognises and honours the many thousands of First Nations men and women that have served and fought for our country.
The bronze statue, designed by Wakka Wakka artist, John Smith Gumbula, and Gold Coast-based sculptor, Liam Hardy, features four First Nations Army, Air Force, Navy, and Medical Services personnel and two dancers representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Image: ATSIDMQ President and Army Indigenous Elder, Lorraine Hatton OAM with Conrad Gargett Principal, David Gole
Conrad Gargett worked closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Queensland Incorporated (ATSIDMQI) – an association formed to seek and approve a design, then manufacture and install the memorial at ANZAC Square.
“The memorial involved a lot of careful negotiation in terms of its siting and managing the impacts on such a prominent heritage site, so Conrad Gargett’s heritage expertise was called upon to ensure optimal siting of the sculpture and help navigate the complex approvals and reporting process,” said Conrad Gargett Principal, David Gole.
“After many years, it is fantastic to see this memorial unveiled in ANZAC Square and for the First Nations people who served and fought for our country, to receive the recognition they deserve,” he added.
Extract from Unveiling Ceremony Order of Service: “Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women have served and fought for our country, from the Boer War onwards. A common passion and love for our country is where differences were, and remain set aside, and cultures united. Unfortunately, in the past, stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diggers are rarely acknowledged in the fabric of Australian Military history.” – ATSIDMQI
The Premier noted in her ceremony address that the memorial was long overdue. “You can see by the faces of the veterans how significant this is, not just for our First Nations people but for Queenslanders as a whole,” Ms Palaszczuk said.