Running between the National Library and the High Court/National Gallery of Australia is an area of parkland given over to a series of artworks drawing on Aboriginal culture and history. Reconciliation Place, as the area is called, aims at reaffirming Australia’s shared history, from an Aboriginal perspective, and the nation’s commitment to reconciliation between Aboriginals and later settlers in Australia.
The centrepiece of the design is a raised mound straddling Burley Griffin’s land axis running from the top of Mount Ainslie to Parliament House via the Australian War Memorial, Anzac Parade and Old Parliament House. From here a short ramp, cut into the surrounding area, takes one down to the lakeside and Commonwealth Place while heading in the opposite (south) direction takes one to Old Parliament House, through the Aboriginal ‘Tent Embassy’.
On the cross-axis, the promenade between the library and the art gallery, is a series of artworks (also known as silvers) displaying images and text on various themes and acts of reconciliation including native title (land) rights and the 1967 referendum which amended the constitution to allow the Commonwealth Government to legislate on Aboriginal issues. Other works, and news ones are being added, celebrate the contributions of specific Aboriginal leaders and the role indigenous people have played in the development of Australia, though sport and the defence of the nation. I have written more on the latter in my separate review- National Aboriginal War Memorial or Not?
Taken as a whole, the artworks seek to portray a story of achievement, partnership, belonging and the Aboriginal connection to land and water.
My pictures attached depict a number of the more photogenic artworks found along Reconciliation Place. Full details of all the artworks here can found on the website detailed below.
I think Reconciliation Place is best admired as you make your way, on foot, between other sites within the Parliamentary Triangle, on the south side of Lake Burley Griffin.
Address: Parkes, ACT 2600
Directions: In the Parliamentary Triangle – Between National Library and National Gallery
This is my last CANBERRA – PARLIAMENTARY TRIANGLE SOUTH OF THE LAKE review.
For other Canberra reviews click HERE.