The iconic sculpture of five Vietnamese refugees on a boat sailing above waves, was unveiled before a 5000-strong crowd in Palm Gardens at Bankstown, on the 4th of Nov 2011. It symbolises the immense struggle, hardship and sacrifices endured by the Vietnamese in search of freedom and democracy.
and was only constructed because the mayor at the time wanted to appease the local Vietnamese faction lobbying for it in the run up to her State election bid. Community consultations overwhelmingly did not want this type of monument but their wishes were ignored by the Mayor. What about a monument acknowledging ALL asylum seekers & refugees???
By rosem2 - reader Tuesday, 8th of November @ 02:27 am
Thanks for taking the time to comment on this photo. I'd hate for it to turn into a political debate of any sort as I simply admire the work and its artist (Terrance Plowright) and respond to the sentiments the sculpture evokes which strike a chord with not just me but also many others.
The monument is a wonderful piece of work, to be admired on its own merit, and it comes with real symbolic meanings, true to the Vietnamese boat people's plight seeking refuge at the time.
As to second guessing agendas and the politics surrounding the statue, the deed's been done, my friend, and there it sits in Palm Gardens for all to see; its level of significance will be determined by its viewers, not by any one political opinion.
As to a monument befitting for all who traversed an ocean to arrive at Australia's door in search of a better life, I envisage a very large statue of the Australian flag to be rather apt, encompassing all Australians as well, as subsequently each and everyone of us, except the Aborigines who were already here, are boat/plane people of origin at some point or are descendents of those who were. Bankstown just happens to be the place of congregation for the Vietnamese community so the choice for a boat people statue to pay homage to the Vietnamese refugees seems to not be out of place.
By Cici - senior reviewer Tuesday, 8th of November @ 05:08 am
Cici your words say it all. Thank you for bring the story to our attention. I certianly will be visiting to view it.
By quentin - reader Tuesday, 8th of November @ 07:20 am
Thank you, Quentin.
By Cici - senior reviewer Tuesday, 8th of November @ 08:06 am
There are always naysayers! I think this is a fantastic monument - and as Cici says - it represents not only the Viet-namese "boat people" but casts its shadow back to my paternal ancestors who arrived here with the 1788 First Eleven - and reminds us of those still coming here as asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and so forth! Bravo Bankstown! Jim KABLE