More migrants to be honoured in memorial

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasHarvey-Waroona Reporter
South West Migrant Memorial president Lui Tuia with Project Manager Charlie Martella. Photo: Nicolette Barbas
Camera IconSouth West Migrant Memorial president Lui Tuia with Project Manager Charlie Martella. Photo: Nicolette Barbas

The South West Migrant Memorial in Queen’s Gardens is preparing to launch its promised second and final stage.

Since its completion in November last year, the memorial site has been a favoured place of nostalgia for many migrants across the South West, Perth, Peel and Great Southern regions.

Now boasting more than 550 names on plaques honouring an individual migrant, the South West Migrant Memorial organisation is inviting those who missed out on the first stage to have their family’s name and story commemorated on one of the additional 224 plaques.

Project manager Charlie Martella said the public interest increased after seeing the first stage come to life.

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“When we started this it was really on our word that it was going to happen,” Mr Martella said.

“People had faith we would pull it off, and I invested a lot of my reputation in it and it paid off.

“Once we opened it, more people came forward wanting to put their families’ names and stories out there, they had to see it first.”

The memorial features a tree combining a trunk, branches and cascading leaves.

“The trunk has three roots which combine at the main section and represent the settlers, nature and migrants,” South West Migrant Memorial president Lui Tuia said.

“We’ve got 15 nationalities represented in here and we specifically targeted people from non-English speaking countries who came here,” Mr Tuia said.

The second stage will provide space for an additional 224 single places, with almost 100 of those already sold.

“We are hoping stage two will be complete by November next year,” Mr Martella said.

“Anyone wanting to include their family’s name on a plaque, we encourage you to fill out an application form as soon as possible.”

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