20 June 2023
Two important projects to honour Indigenous servicemen and servicewomen have begun in the city’s heart as Ipswich City Council continues to deliver on actions in its Indigenous Accord 2020-2025.
Council is progressing a Ceremonial, Healing and Remembrance Place in Queens Park and Indigenous Soldiers Memorial Plinth in Memorial Gardens (Ipswich RSL) in Nicholas Street.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the projects were a direct result of the Indigenous Accord 2020-2025 which called for recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and servicewomen through the creation of a war memorial in Queens Park.
“The Accord is council’s strategic framework for reconciliation and community governance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their communities,” Mayor Harding said.
“It sets out targeted and specific actions and sets the agenda for cooperation, collaboration and partnership between Ipswich City Council and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“Among the actions in the Accord is the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and servicewomen who have lost their lives in various conflicts throughout history.
“This action item is the culmination of many years of engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community and with Indigenous servicemen and servicewomen past, present and their descendants.
“Council is currently consulting on the Ceremonial, Healing and Remembrance Place at Queens Park as well as a plinth in Memorial Gardens specifically acknowledging the contribution and sacrifice made by Indigenous men and women who served in the Australian Armed Forces.”
As part of consultation for the project, Mayor Harding and council officers met in February 2021 with the National Indigenous Australians Agency and Aunty Lorraine Hatton OAM, who is President of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Dedicated Memorial Queensland Incorporated.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said council is engaging with members of the city’s Indigenous community and encouraged First Nations Peoples to provide their input on these important projects.
“Targeted consultation has begun to define the wording on the memorial plinth, including with elders and other community members,” Cr Tully said.
“Once this consultation has concluded, council will develop concept designs to share with the community.”
Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said the Ceremonial, Healing and Remembrance Place in Queens Park will acknowledge the history and cultural significance of this area for Indigenous people and provide a dedicated space for reflection, education and healing for the whole community.
“Queens Park location was traditionally a place for Aboriginal people to meet and resolve interpersonal and inter-clan conflict so it’s only fitting there will now be a place created for healing and remembrance,” Cr Doyle said.
Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said in total nine plinths will be placed in Memorial Gardens (RSL) with the Indigenous Solders Memorial plinth to sit along-side other plinths representing conflicts including World War I, World War II and the Boer War.
“The Indigenous Solders Memorial Plinth will be an important acknowledgement of the contribution and great sacrifice made by Indigenous men and women who served in the Australian Armed Forces,” Cr Fechner said.
For more information on the Indigenous Soldiers Remembrance and Healing Project visit council’s community engagement platform Shape Your Ipswich here.
For more information on the Ipswich City Council Indigenous Accord 2020-2025 visit the Ipswich City Council website here.