A place to remember the men, women and children who have tragically lost their lives at sea will be established in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.
Borne out of a desire from community members to remember their loved ones who have died along our coastline, the Lost at Sea sculpture is a collaboration between council and the community to bring recognition to the significance of human life.
Providing a permanent, safe and welcoming space, the sculpture will not include names of the deceased, but instead act as a contemporary space for family and friends to reflect, remember and reminisce.
Council will commission an artist to design the work, with a view to installing the sculpture in April or May 2022.
A location for the sculpture will be discussed as part of the community engagement process with the community.
Group manager economic and cultural development Liesa Davies, said the Port Macquarie-Hastings coastline, its beaches and its ocean attract thousands of locals and visitors every year.
Tragically, however, people lose their lives in this environment and council acknowledges that nothing can ever replace the loss of a loved-one.
"Sadly, for many impacted families, they do not have a final resting place for their loved one; it is hoped this project will provide that special place," Ms Davies, said.
"This project is so important for our community. The creation of a place for reflection and peace has been repeatedly requested by community members, and we are privileged to be able to work with the community to deliver this important space."
Local resident Rachel Rhodes has been one of the key community champions advocating for this important project.
Ms Rhodes is the mother of Bronson Rhodes, who tragically drowned and disappeared whilst swimming with friends at Flynns Beach in December 2017.
Bronson was aged just 14 years old when he died.
"This project is dear to my heart. To have a place to go to, to remember our loved ones is so important, not just for my family, but for many other people too," she said.
To help bring the Lost at Sea concept to reality, council will commission an artist to design and install the memorial through an expression of interest process.
Council is interested in connecting with people who have lost a loved one at sea, and who might like to help inform the sculptural design brief.
The project will be funded under council's four-year Cultural Plan (2021-2025).
Online consultation sessions are being held this Thursday, November 25 at 12 noon and 6pm to help inform the design brief. To register go to haveyoursay.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/lost-at-sea
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