A public launch is being held this Saturday, June 4, 2022, for the Bondi memorial dedicated to victims and survivors of the spate of homophobic and transphobic violence that occurred from the 1970s to 1990s in Sydney and New South Wales.

Located in Marks Park in Tamarama, the memorial titled ‘Rise’ was installed through a collaboration with LGBTQ health organisation ACON, Urban Art Projects (UAP) Design Studio and Waverley Council.

The memorial is being launched to the community in a commemorative event at Marks Park. In attendance at the event will be representatives from organisations involved, as well as political figures and special guests.

An Opportunity For Healing

 

Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos said in a statement to Star Observer that the memorial is “dedicated to the recognition of the recent history of gay and transphobic hate crimes that occurred in Bondi and along the east coast of Australia.”

Designed by John Nicholson and UAP, the memorial’s composition is embedded with meaning, as the layers mirror the nearby cliffs but appear instead to be moving towards the horizon. 

“Each of its six sculpted stone layers represents one of the six bands in the pride flag” Masselos said. “The Bondi Memorial in the public domain provides an opportunity for healing by making space for recognition and confrontation of the past, giving light to changing attitudes, and inviting ongoing reflection.”

Memorial Recognises Dark History For LGBTQI Community

Some of the victims of gay hate crimes in Sydney.

The location of the monument is recognised as a place where a significant number of hate crimes occurred throughout the 1970s to 1990s. Gay men were attacked in parks or pushed from the clif tops on Sydney’s coast to the sharp rocks below.  The cliff top park Marks Park, a popular ‘gay beat’ was also the site of many attacks and killings. 

Nicolas Parkhill, CEO of ACON, said that “during the 1970s to 1990s, the focus of many violent attacks against our communities was in, and around, Marks Park and the Bondi area.”

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The memorial was constructed in the wake of a report by ACON that examined the breadth of hate crimes against gay and trans people in New South Wales.

The report investigated 88 suspected anti-gay homicides and concluded with recommendations for “publicly acknowledging the victims and survivors”, “healing the legacy of violence” and encouraging a “deeper understanding of the past to improve the present.” Last year, the NSW government set up a judicial inquiry into the hate crimes

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Parkhill said that the launch to the public “will provide our communities with an opportunity to come together, reflect and remember all the victims and survivors of this dark time in Sydney’s history.”

For more details on the memorial and how to attend the community launch, visit ACON’s website. 



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