Ballarat City Council endorses designs for Continuous Voices memorial

Continuous Voices memorial BallaratThe vision for a Continuous Voices memorial has become clearer, with Ballarat City Council endorsing the designs for the much-anticipated memorial for survivors and victims of sexual abuse at the June 2024 Council meeting.

The Continuous Voices memorial is anticipated to be a place for continuing stories, healing and hope, and has been designed by Amass Architects with Ben Juckes.

The architects were selected through a competitive design process which engaged the Ballarat survivor community and relied upon research projects developed by the Creative City team within the City of Ballarat.

The endorsed design is both commemorative of a significant issue, but also dynamic, with the hope of encouraging reflection, healing, conversation and an act as an archive of the past.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson said it is incredible to see such a considered design for the important Continuous Voices memorial.

“To see how clearly the designers have considered the reference group’s feedback and considerations and made the memorial their place is inspiring,” he said. “This will be a very significant landmark in Ballarat once complete.”

The design shows soaring curves which curl around each other, and the structure has been crafted to interplay with the water and local environment. Each strand within the design symbolises an individual’s healing journey. As the strands come together, they form a self-supporting canopy that signifies the power of community, protection and strength.

The canopy provides a safe space for healing and reflection and serves as a canvas for both individual and collective expression. Each survivor’s journey is different, and often individuals struggle with the duality of hope and darkness. It is designed to provide opportunities to embrace these competing aspects, while also giving another unique view in the reflections by the water of the Victoria Park lake.

At the heart of the memorial lies a thoughtfully curated artwork which will be informed by survivor contribution. This contemplative core embodies both darkness and light, reflecting the complex emotional landscape faced by survivors, victims, and their families. The design is being developed in collaboration with Realm Studios and Tensys.

Director of AMASS Architects, Kieran Ward, said the company is deeply humbled to be entrusted with designing such an important place for the Ballarat community.

“From the Creative Ballarat research projects, we understood that the memorial needed to authentically reflect the complex and dynamic journey of healing experienced by survivors, victims and their families,” he said.

“Every aspect of its physical form, visitor journey and integration with the surrounding landscape is experienced through this lens. “We have imagined a place that embodies healing, embraces seasonal change and acts as a catalyst for Healing Country.”

Community Reference Group member, Blake Curran, said the group is very proud of the way victim-survivors, family, friends and advocates have worked collaboratively on the Continuous Voices Memorial project with the City of Ballarat to reach this special moment of conceptual design.

“The design has been developed with all victims of sexual abuse in mind by the architects, not just those of historical clerical abuse in Ballarat. It was heartening to see them take on the voices, feedback and ideas sought over the years through this project,” he said.

“It encapsulates not only the darkness and heartbreak that this kind of trauma brings, but is also a place of light, hope and reflection looking towards the future in a natural, peaceful setting. It’s a place that we can visit individually, or with families or friends, or with our own children to ensure that voices continue to be heard,” said Curran .

Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Vicki Ward said this memorial symbolises the importance of being seen, heard and believed. It opens the opportunity to be a space for healing and connection.

“We all have a responsibility in preventing violence in our communities and in our homes. The more we work collectively to address the attitudes, beliefs, systems and structures that enable family and sexual violence, the stronger the social change we need will be,” she said.

The Continuous Voices project has been identified by the City of Ballarat as a priority project. To date the City of Ballarat has successfully advocated to secure State Government funding of $500,000 and continues to advocate to the Federal Government on behalf of the community for further investment. The City of Ballarat has committed $520,000 to the $1.5 million project.

For more information about the Continuous Voices memorial, visit: for details.

Image: Render of the Continuous Voices memorial – courtesy of Amass Architects

If you need assistance with the issue of sexual assault or abuse, please contact: Ballarat CASA on 03 5320 3933 or After Hours/Crisis Care 24 hours free call on 1800 806 292.