Lost but not forgotten
A STATUE depicting the sorrow and loss of a mother, one arm across her face and the other outstretched in need, is part of a memorial to be unveiled in Victoria Park for people separated by adoption.
Read Park is the suggested location for several sculptures commissioned to mark the WA Parliament’s 2010 apology for past adoption practices and policies, which was the first of its kind by any government anywhere in the world.
Eight years on from that historic event, and five years after Julia Gillard’s national apology, Victoria Park Council will tonight decide whether the park near Albany Highway is an appropriate location for the donated memorial.
The memorial, which includes a second smaller but just as poignant sculpture of a small child asleep in a giant hand, was commissioned for the WA branch of the Association Representing Mothers Separated By Adoption Inc (ARMS).
It will also include a plaque dedicating the memorial to those who have been separated by adoption. Its headline reads: ‘A Quarter of a Million Mothers’.
Reports estimate about 150,000 children were taken from unmarried mothers and provided to couples wanting a child in the 1950s and 1960s alone.
ARMS originally approached the Town of Victoria Park to accept and display the solid granite sculptures at the McCallum Park foreshore because of its proximity to parenting support service Ngala in Kensington.
While McCallum Park was not viable, ARMS’ request met all criteria under the council’s commemorative recognition policy and Read Park was considered the best site. The not-forprofit has committed to paying for delivery and installation of the memorial.
In a report recommending Read Park, council officers said accepting the donation should be viewed as a statement of goodwill to those affected Australiawide and not as a reflection of past forced adoption practices in Victoria Park.