The National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sex Abuse have asked designers to submit plans for a national memorial building to be constructed in Canberra.

Submissions opened on Monday, with $6.7 million pledged by the Morrison Government to establish the memorial. It will provide a dedicated and enduring place to reflect, pay tribute and remind future generations to be ever vigilant in protecting the nation’s children.

The design process is being managed by the National Capital Authority (NCA). Chaired by The Hon Peter McClellan AM QC, the jury will include a landscape architect, architect, artistic advisor, representative from the NCA and representatives from the National Memorial Advisory Group which includes people with lived experience.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston says the memorial will acknowledge and shed light on the impacts of institutional child sex abuse in Australian history. 

“Consultation told us the memorial should be a place of remembrance and a place that honours victims and survivors,” she says.

“Without the strength of victims and survivors Australia may have never been able to come to terms with the awful truth about the abuse perpetrated in institutions entrusted to care for young Australians.

“Their voices have created changes in all levels of society to ensure that children are protected from abuse in all institutions now and forever and this memorial will serve as a permanent tribute to them.”

The submission process is open to all Australian design professionals, as well as other interested parties including those with lived experience of institutional child sexual abuse.

Construction of the National Memorial is projected to commence later this year, following the selection of a suitable design through this design competition. The Memorial is expected to be completed in 2022.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino says the NCA is working with the Department of Social Services to develop the Memorial.

“I welcome the partnership with Minister Ruston to establish this nationally significant memorial in the heart of the nation’s capital,” she says.

“A national call for submissions has been deemed the most appropriate way to select a suitable design for the Memorial and we encourage those with the skills and expertise to apply.”

For further design information and guidelines head to Submissions close Friday 21 May 2021.