A monument to mariners has been unveiled in Western Australia, as a thank you to sailors of all descriptions, from a grateful maritime nation.
With a duffle bag slung over the left shoulder, the Australian sailor hesitated on the gangway for a moment, looked back with a foot lifted ready to plant on the ship and sail into another thrilling adventure, and sometimes - never to be seen again.
A 3.6 metre bronze sculpture nicknamed ‘Jack’ was unveiled by West Australian Premier Hon Mark McGowan, MLA on the Perth foreshore at Elizabeth Quay where it will be on display adorning the precinct before relocating and positioned as the central element of the Australian Sailor Monument at Rous Head in Fremantle.
“I am delighted to unveil this remarkable sculpture which will be the centrepiece of a national monument honouring the contribution of thousands of indigenous Australians, explorers, settlers, sailors, adventurers, Navy personnel, migrants and fishermen who have all played an important role in our nation’s maritime heritage,” Premier McGowan said.
“This magnificent sculpture will stand as a permanent tribute to those who have sailed our nation’s seas and waterways and will watch over those who go down to the sea in ships for generations to come.
“Having served in the Royal Australian Navy, I have witnessed first-hand the personal sacrifices made by the countless men and women who have served our country,”’ he said.
The ceremony was represented by Navy members both past and present with Senior Naval Officer Western Australia Commodore Brett Dowsing, paying his respects to his maritime ancestors.
Convenor of the Monument, Gavin Ryan said that Western Australia’s past, present and future prosperity was closely linked to the sea.
“The Australian Sailor Monument honours the sailors who have served, and continue to serve our country while also recognising all those who have contributed to our nation’s maritime legacy,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Monument will stand as a lasting testament to their courage, spirit and contribution.”
International award-winning artists Charles Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith (Smith Sculptors) were commissioned for this project, and further information on the Australian Sailor Monument can be found at www.australiansailormonument.com.au.