Town embraces ARMS sculptures

Published on 15 March 2019

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The Town of Victoria Park will unveil two sculptures next week to remember the people whose lives have been affected by forced adoption in Australia.

The Hon. David Templeman MLA, Minister for Local Government, Heritage, Culture and the Arts will be joining Mayor Trevor Vaughan in unveiling the sculptures at Read Park.

“These sculptures are a poignant reminder and acknowledgement of a deeply traumatic and sad time in our history,” Mr Templeman said.

Mr Templeman was instrumental in initiating the State Government’s apology on 19 October 2010, a world-first by any government. The unveiling coincides with the sixth anniversary of the National Apology for Forced Adoptions.

The sculptures, titled Empty Arms – Broken Lives, were donated to the Town by the Association Representing Mothers Separated from their children by adoption (ARMS), having received funding through the Department of Social Services.

“The Town is honoured to have been approached by ARMS last year to display these sculptures,” Mayor Trevor Vaughan said.

“We are an inclusive and caring community, and were glad to embrace the opportunity to give a permanent home to the sculptures, in acknowledgement of such a significant event in Australian history.

“We hope Read Park can become a place of reflection and remembrance for people all over Perth who have been affected by forced adoption.”

ARMS Coordinator Lynne Devine said the unveiling marks an important milestone for those people whose lives were impacted by past practices and policies.

“These sculptures symbolise an acknowledgement of the pain and trauma suffered by all people separated by forced adoption.

“The memorial will provide a central place for them to visit and hopefully to gain comfort, knowing their lifetime of suffering has been recognised and acknowledged,” Ms Devine said.

The public are welcome to attend the unveiling of Empty Arms – Broken Lives from 10.30am to 12noon on Thursday 21 March at Read Park, Albany Highway, Victoria Park.