Memories unfolding

Unfolding Lives finds a new home.

AFTER seven years in storage a Northbridge memorial has been restored and re-dedicated to people who spent their childhoods in institutional care.

Unfolding Lives by Judith Forrest featured text by poet Terri-ann White reflecting experiences of care leavers: former child migrants, foster children, stolen generation members, and those who grew up in residential camps. 

It was unveiled in the Northbridge Cultural Centre in 2010, the year after a national apology to the children who’d grown up in institutions, but was removed and put in storage in 2016 when the neighbouring WA Museum was redeveloped. 

The museum reopened in 2020 but the sculpture remained in storage and was deteriorating, prompting a campaign led by care leaver Mark Farmer to have it reinstated.

On Monday May 8 care leavers walked through an honour guard to unveil the restored monument, about 50 metres from its previous location.

Victims of crime commissioner Kati Kraszlan officiated the event, and said: “Care leavers have shown great understanding and patience during the redevelopment of the museum and restoration of the sculpture.

“They played a prominent role in the process to choose the site of the memorial’s permanent home and it’s fitting that they unveiled it today.”

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