A nation-wide design competition open to artists and designers was held in late 2011, with 208 registrations and 26 entries received. The entries were judged by an independent jury.
The winning design for the Memorial was announced on 14 March 2012 at Parliament House in Canberra.
The winning design, titled ‘Workers Glade’, was developed by Sydney-based architecture firm, Johnson Pilton Walker. The design features a series of tall, slender columns clad in stone, representing each state and territory in Australia.
Each column is symbolically dedicated to the communities, families and workers - the people - of each state and territory and one’s home. The columns are crafted from stone sourced from places as varied as the alpine reaches of Tasmania, to the tropical regions of the Northern Territory. The finishes are smooth to the touch and subdued in the light. Viewed from above, the locations of the columns, laid out like a map of Australia, correspond with the locations of each state’s capital city.
Concentric rings on the plaza pavement radiate out from each column and overlap to form a shared, public plaza. These rings, representing the ripple effect, acknowledge the profound impact work related loss has on communities and families. At the foot of each column is a metal baseplate engraved with a value, from which emanates a series of rings leading to a second engraved inlay with inspiring quotes applicable to each value. Find out more about each value.
A level plaza and low seating wall provides a place of quiet reflection, refuge from the elements as well as allowing for commemorative ceremonies.
‘a profound reverence for life’