Call for memorial to city's orphans
A PERMANENT memorial to Ballarat orphans should be built in the city, a former Ballarat orphanage resident says.
Frank Golding said orphans were an important part of the city's heritage, but there was little formal recognition of them here.
Mr Golding said many Ballarat residents would be unaware of the city's status at one point as one of regional Australia's orphanage capitals.
From the 1860s to the 1990s, at least 15 institutions in the city housed children
"It's not talked about . . . it's out of sight and out of mind, as Ballarat institutions generally were," Mr Golding said.
He wants the Ballarat City Council to build the memorial.
In January he met with the council's sustainability executive manager Ian Rossiter and people and communities director Carolyn Barrie to discuss the idea.
At that meeting a proposal to build the memorial into a Lake Wendouree rotunda was discussed.
But, Mr Golding said he had heard nothing on the idea since.
Recently, the Federal Government announced a formal apology would be made in November to those abused while in state care.
The Senate committee which recommended the apology be made, also said there was a role for councils in the building of memorials.
"The way I see it, there's a real push from the Federal Government down for this, there ought to be a grassroots push up.''
Ms Barrie said the memorial was something the council was keen to pursue.
She said the council had offered some ideas about the form the memorial might take.
"One of those was perhaps providing a place for reflection . . . where some of the stories can be told,'' Ms Barrie said.
But she said any proposal would need be brought to a meeting of council for consideration.
Ballarat Child and Family Services chief executive officer Kevin Zibell said the organisation wanted to see a memorial at the former Ballarat Orphanage site in Victoria St. "It's certainly our intention that we would be doing that sooner rather than later.''