A new permanent monument to the victims and survivors of LGBTQIA+ hate crimes has been installed along the Bondi to Coogee coastal path at Marks Park, between Tamarama and Bondi. The memorial overlooking Bondi Bay honours the Sydneysiders who were targeted in homophobic and transphobic attacks between the 1970s and 1990s.
The artwork, entitled Rise, has been designed by John Nicholson from United Arts Projects and represents the culmination of more than six years of planning by ACON and Waverley Council. ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the completion of the Bondi memorial marks an important milestone in the LGBTQIA+ community’s journey towards healing.
“For decades, our communities have endured the pain and trauma of these horrific acts of violence. We know that many gay men and trans women were killed, tortured or assaulted across Sydney, including along the city’s coastline and eastern suburbs. These events have left a sorrowful legacy that continues to be felt today," he said. “This memorial will serve as a monument to the victims and survivors and help heal the trauma these events have caused for their families and loved ones, as well as broader LGBTQIA+ communities and many local residents.”
Built into a natural amphitheatre on the south-western side of the park, the artwork’s arrangement of marble steps was inspired by the strata of the cliffs that descend towards the ocean but reimagined as a staircase flipped to ascend towards the horizon – the act of climbing representing a defiant rebuke to those who would knock LGBTQIA+ people down. Its simple yet meaningful symbolism offers a pathway forward away from the history of violence. Embedded in the artwork is a series of plaques honouring lives lost and reflecting moments in the community’s ongoing pursuit of healing, truth and justice.