Chosen Child Sexual Abuse Memorial Design


A series of glass arches will be built on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra as part of a national memorial for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

Titled “Transparency and Truth,” the design created by architects Jessica Spresser and Peter Besley will feature a path through glass archways surrounded by a field of wildflowers.

The memorial, one of the recommendations of the royal commission into child sexual abuse, will be built on the Acton Peninsula near the National Museum of Australia.

Construction on the $6.7 million project is expected to begin later this year.

The glass arches forming part of the memorial are meant to signify the strength, fragility and resilience of the survivors.

The design for the memorial was selected by a jury of nine people who had lived experience, as well as design industry experts, and was chaired by former royal commission chairman Peter McClellan.

Family and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the memorial would be a step towards healing for many survivors.

“The national memorial would be a place of truth and reflection for people with lived experience, their families and supporters,” she said.

“(The memorial will be) a lasting reminder of the responsibility to create a safer world for our children.”

The architects said the memorial would represent both the fragility and resilience of the survivors.

“The design of the memorial seeks to maintain a balance between acknowledging strength and vitality on the one hand and acknowledging trauma and loss on the other,” they said in a statement.

“Individual pieces of cast glass support immense loads, but together create forms of exceptional grace and lightness.”


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