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The Workers' Glade

In 2011, a nation-wide competition was held for the design of the National Workers Memorial. The competition received 208 registrations and 26 entries from artists and designers across the country. The entries were judged by an independent jury.

The winning design was 'Worker's Glade', developed by Sydney-based architecture firm, Johnson Pilton Walker.

On a cool Canberra morning in September 2012, the ground was broken to officially commence construction of the memorial.

A talented team of workers were sourced from a wide range of industries from all around the country, each bringing their own specialised skills, ideas and experiences to the project. The memorial was officially opened with a dedication ceremony held on Sunday 28 April 2013.

'different cultures, countries, languages and backgrounds working together'

The memorial 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. The final stone selected for the design was:

Victorian Bluestone
Victorian Bluestone
ACT Mugga Porphy
Mugga Mugga Porphyry (ACT)
New South Wales Grandee
New South Wales Grandee
Queensland Bianca Mist
Queensland Bianca Mist
Western Australian Desert Brown
Western Australian Desert Brown
Northern Territory Darwin Brown
Northern Territory Darwin Brown
South Australian Balmoral Green
South Australian Balmoral Green
Tasmanian Natone
Tasmanian Natone

 

Decorative

Viewed from above, the locations of the columns are laid out like a map of Australia and 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.

Videos

Interview about how the memorial was designed

See the story of how the National Workers Memorial was designed.

Memorial Dedication Ceremony

The National Workers Memorial was officially opened on 28 April 2013. The Memorial provides a place for visitors to lay a tribute for a loved one, a location to pause and reflect, as well as allowing a space for congregation, interaction and ceremony. It also provides an important focal point for the commemoration of Workers' Memorial Day, recognised internationally on 28 April each year.