Designers chosen for Brisbane’s new Indigenous war memorial

Smith Hardy Brisbane's new Indigenous war memorialTwo of Queensland’s most admired artists will design the state’s official memorial honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women.

To be erected in Brisbane’s Anzac Square, the concept by Mr John Smith Gumbula and Mr Liam Hardy was chosen by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Committee Queensland (ATSIDMCQ) from a shortlist of four submissions. The shortlisted designs were displayed recently at the Museum of Brisbane.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women have served in all armed conflicts and peacekeeping missions in which Australia has been involved since 1899.

Mr Smith Gumbula and Mr Hardy’s design, while still a work in progress, will convey that contribution and sacrifice, using traditional symbology to link the culture, commitment and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service personnel.

Involved in many programs relating to Indigenous awareness and culture, and the recipient of numerous awards, Mr Smith Gumbula’s work has adorned collections in Australian and international galleries, as well as the private collections of celebrities, including the late B. B. King, Janet Jackson, Carlos Santana, Serena and Venus Williams, and royalty.

Meanwhile, Mr Hardy’s sculptures also feature prominently in Australia and overseas, and include the iconic sculptures of Queensland and Australian rugby league greats Arthur Beetson and Mal Meninga, both of which stand at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium Other states already have memorials to Indigenous military servicemen and women.

Former Governor General of Australia and ATSIDMCQ Co-Patron, Dame Quentin Bryce said Queensland’s dedicated memorial was a community-driven project and an important act of recognition and reconciliation.

“In symbolic terms, this is such an important occasion because we haven’t told the stories, as we should have, of the magnificent contribution of thousands of Indigenous men and women who have served in our defence forces,” she said.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Committee Queensland (ATSIDMCQ) is a volunteer-led organisation seeking community, corporate and government support to fund the design, construction and installation of the memorial. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of ATSIDMCQ