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Published June 20th 2020
See the public tributes to important leaders
Monuments are a way to set in stone the people and events that have shaped a society's shared history. I came across four, (perhaps lesser-known) monuments which can be found in public spaces across Brisbane, which do just that.
Each pays tribute to four international leaders who are considered to be "founders" of their specialties and major influencers on our modern world.
Here's what I found:
1. Mahatma Gandhi The green, landscaped gardens of the Roma Street Parklands in the Brisbane CBD are home to a statue of peace activist Mahatma Gandhi. Considered the father of India, Gandhi was a lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India.
The Brisbane installation of Gandhi was unveiled by the Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi in 2014 and pays homage to Gandhi's' notion of peaceful change, a shared Australian value. The placement of the statue amidst the walking paths of the parklands are perhaps symbolic of Gandhi's famous Dandi Salt March.
The Salt March was an act of civil disobedience to protest British rule in India. During the 240 mile march, thousands of Indians followed Gandhi from his religious retreat near Ahmedabad to the Arabian Sea coast. As such, the monument includes one of Gandhi's' beliefs: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." and "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
2. Hippocrates The contributions of "the father of medicine" Greek physician, Hippocrates, who lived from about 460 B.C. to 375 B.C. is marked on the grassy space in front of the heritage-listed Mayne Medical School in Herston. The statue of Hippocrates, which was created by artist Phillip Piperides, was unveiled in 1996 against the backdrop of the multi-columned, three-storey, red face brick building in a Renaissance style.
The difference which Hippocrates brought to medicine was that he based his medical practice on observing and studying the human body and believed that illness had a physical and a rational explanation. He rejected the views of his time that illness was caused by superstitions and by the possession of evil spirits and disfavour of the gods. This was a groundbreaking shift in diagnosis and treatment.
His impact lives on as physicians today continue to take the Hippocratic oath which states, "I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant: I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow."
The monument of Hippocrates is located at 268 Herston Rod, Herston, opposite the Victoria Park Golf Club and was opened.by the former Governor-General of Queensland, Leneen Forde.
The monument of a man gazing curiously to the skies outside the stark, white dome of the Brisbane Planetarium is that of the Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory, Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky.
Tsilkovsky is considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry and astronautics. His works later inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers such as Sergei Korolev and Valentin Glushko and contributed to the success of the Soviet space program.
By Unknown author - Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76200098
The statue, by Sergei Bychkov, was donated to Queensland during Russia Week in Australia in 2007, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Tsiolkovsky.
The monument of Tsiolkovsky is located at Mount Cootha Road, Toowong.
Ancient Chinese philosopher, teacher, and political thinker Confucious is remembered in a statue at South Bank. The statue was created by renowned artists from East China's Shandong province, where Confucius was born and lived. An example of his sayings is, "If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage."
Perched across a set of steps, the monument of Confucious is located at Clem Jones Promenade, South Bank Parklands. With hands clasped and flowing robes, it reflects a regal quality to Confucious with an overwhelming sense of wisdom.
As the founder of Confucianism, the monument was unveiled by then Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh in 2009.
By Kgbo - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77711279
So there you have it. Four great international leaders who shaped the broader world in their important endeavours. While they have since passed, their efforts of discovery, peace, and ingenuity are still relevant today.
COVID 19 has provided us with the opportunity to be a tourist in our own city. So check out Brisbane's public spaces and find some of the cities more hidden monuments this weekend.
I enjoyed reading about those statues and their placement, Gillian Another great statue is Robbie Burns, Scottish bard, (“Auld Lange syne” etc.). It’s in Centenairy Place Park, top of Ann Street before Fortitude Valley.