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National tribute to the Australian sailor unveiled

Premier Mark McGowan today unveiled a three-metre bronze sculpture which is the centrepiece of a national monument honouring the role of sailors in Australia’s history.

The Australian Sailor Monument, the first national monument to be based in Western Australia, is under construction at Rous Head in Fremantle.

The bronze sculpture from the Monument will be on display at Elizabeth Quay for several months before being relocated and positioned as the centrepiece of the Australian Sailor Monument at Rous Head in Fremantle.

The State Government, Lotterywest and the Federal Government, through the Department of Defence and the Royal Australian Navy, have committed a combined $1.07 million of funding for the $2 million project.

The striking bronze sculpture was created by award-winning WA artists Charles Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith of Smith Sculptors, renowned for famous works such as the HMAS Sydney II Memorial in Geraldton and the National Memorial to the Australian Army in Canberra.

The three-metre bronze sculpture depicts a young sailor gesturing goodbye as he climbs the gangplank to set sail – a universal and timeless image, capturing a moment in time when the sea beckons and the safety of the shore is left behind.

The Monument will pay tribute to the many men and women who have played a role in the development and defence of Australia throughout history. It honours the rich and diverse maritime heritage that stretches back to the first Australians and acknowledges the importance of the sea in our shared stories and futures.

The interactive monument is themed around a big solar clock, with the central gnomon casting a ship-shaped shadow on the clock face to record the passage of time. Located close to the entrance of the Fremantle Harbour, the monument will be seen by ships approaching the coast.

Source: Government of Western Australia.