Pioneer Park War Memorial
A partnership between the Town of Gawler and the RSL Gawler Sub-Branch
In 2016, a working group was formed comprising five Elected Members, three representatives from the RSL Gawler Sub-Branch, two community representatives and Council Staff. Six members of the Working Group are former members of the Australian Defence Force.
The Pioneer Park Working Group’s brief for the Memorial was that it provide an important place of reflection for all of us to honour and remember the men and women who served and died for our country in all wars and peacekeeping operations.
Renowned artist Robert Hannaford AM was commissioned in early 2017 to design and develop the Memorial.
The concept design and maquette of the proposed memorial was developed and considered by the Pioneer Park Working Group and Council in June 2017. Community consultation was undertaken in July 2017.
Robert described his vision for the War Memorial as “An abstract, enigmatic form conveying the feeling of service, war, conflict and peacekeeping. The poignancy of tragedy and loss of life is conveyed in the hand’s form with the bent shape implicitly creating a feeling of subtlety.” Click HERE to view a video of Robert Hannaford AM explaining the concept behind the artwork.
“The Town of Gawler and the RSL decided to engage a different approach to a War Memorial. The sculpture will be a place where a person of any religion, age, race and gender can identify with and reflect on family or lost friends. The hand can be given in friendship, and also it can be used to comfort and to love, the hand can also console, the hand also has been used to condemn and to hurt but this memorial will show that the hand can rest and be at peace.” Paul Little, RSL Gawler Sub-Branch President October 2018
The War Memorial was officially dedicated on 11 November 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, also referred to as the Armistice Centenary.
On 18 June 2018, the RSL Memorial was removed from Pioneer Park and relocated to the RSL Clubrooms in Gawler West.
The Town of Gawler and the RSL Gawler Sub-Branch received significant financial support for this project, totalling over $170,000 in external funds.
$80,000 - Arts South Australia Major Commission Funding
$34,130 - Armistice Centenary Grant Program, Australian Government
$20,000 - Stronger Communities Grant, Australian Government
$3,636 - Saluting their Service Community Commemorative Grant, Australian Government
$10,000 – Taylor and Forgie Funerals, in memory of James Graham Forgie
$5,000 – Rotary Club of Gawler and Rotary Club of Gawler Light
$1,000 – Lions Club of Gawler
$1,000 – Royal Australian Air Force Association (RAAFA) SA Division
$1,000 – Councillor Kevin Fischer
$1,000 – Councillor David Hughes
RSL Gawler Sub-Branch
and Gawler RSL Women's Auxiliary
Wayne and Margaret Clarke
Dr Malcolm Richards
Patrons of the Gawler Cinema
Robert Eley CSC
Councillor Kevin Fischer
Councillor Adrian Shackley
National Pharmacies Gawler
Sanders Fodder Store
Dan Murphys Gawler
Church Hill Mews
Eagle Foundry Bed and Breakfast
Mrs Pat Stringer
Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club
Rudall & Rudall Lawyers
Willo’s Men’s Shed
Adelaide Hills Cider Company