Details of a national memorial to honour Australian lifesavers from across Australia who died in combat were announced at noon today, by Randwick Mayor Tony Bowen, Member for Kingsford Smith Peter Garrett and Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith.
The memorial will consist of an iconic bronze sculpture featuring a lifesaver and a soldier, a wall of remembrance, landscaping and terrace seating. It will be located overlooking the southern part of Coogee Beach. Internationally renowned sculptor Alan Somerville – perhaps best know for his bronze sculpture of a WWI Anzac soldier on the Anzac Bridge – has been engaged to produce the sculpture.
A special consultation website www.yoursayrandwick.com.au/fallenlifesavers has also been established so people can find out more about the project and share stories about the 3,500 lifesavers who have died serving Australia in war.
Mayor Tony Bowen paid tribute to the many Australian lifesavers who have given their lives in conflicts since World War I.
“There were more than 20 Surf Life Saving Clubs in Australia at the outbreak of World War I, and when the call went out for volunteers, a significant number of these volunteer club members signed up to defend our great nation and the freedoms we enjoy today.
“This national memorial will be a dignified place of reflection to honour fallen lifesavers from around our nation, and a beautiful place, looking out to Coogee Beach, for the whole community to enjoy,” the Mayor said.
The Federal Member for Kingsford Smith Peter Garrett added, “It is timely that this crucial contribution to our local and national history is recognised, and I’m excited that the project is now on its way.”
The State Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith described Coogee as the ideal spot for such a memorial.
“Coogee has some of the earliest links to Surf Life Saving Australia, so there is no better place than Coogee Beach for a memorial recognising great service to our community in both times of peace and war,” he said.