Waverley Council has announced it will commission a public artwork to be erected in Bondi’s Hunter Park to commemorate the victims of Sydney’s gay hate crimes, which took place in the 80s and 90s.
The move has been welcomed by LGBTI advocates who have been campaigning for a memorial for the victims for the past two years.
Hunter Park is adjacent to Marks Park, a well-known gay beat that was the site of numerous gay bashings during the 80s and 90s.
Council voted last week to begin planning for the construction of the memorial, which will commemorate the lives lost to violence during a particularly bleak page of NSW history.
Last weekend the NSW Police force announced it may be reopening as many as 88 unsolved cold cases whose victims are now believed to have fallen foul of gay hate crimes in the eastern suburbs and Sydney metro region during the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Amongst those lobbying for a permanent memorial to the victims is LGBTI health organisation ACON.
“We believe a memorial to the victims will help acknowledge and heal the significant trauma these events have caused for the families of the victims as well as the LGBTI community and many local residents,” ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said.
“A memorial will also help raise greater community awareness of this issue, promote the continuing need for relevant information to be brought to the attention of police, and serve as a reminder of the importance of valuing and celebrating diversity in our community.”
Director of the Inner City Legal Centre, Vicki Harding said getting justice for the victims was vitally important
"This memorial will be an important symbol for acknowledging injustices of the past, and moving forward into a much more respectful future."
It is hoped the council will consult with community stakeholders and the victims’ families to determine an appropriate memorial.