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Woden Valley Flood Memorial

By Moggie8 - 6 December 2009 32

I am the sister of one of the flood victims. There is a memorial due to be erected to the 7 flood victims on 26 jan 2010. Our family was lead to believe that an information sign would be included but at a meeting on fri Dec 4 with Jon Stanhope’s representatives this was not going to be included due to a lack of funding. We then offered to pay and were then informed it was a matter of liability. I am upset at the late notice and feel it is an attempt to tie our hands. None of us are interested in compensation, only that a true and historical record be given to members of the public and to provide closure to my family. I have only just found this site. Any comments or community support would be appreciated.

[Ed] Previously discussed here

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Woden Valley Flood Memorial
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sisterofstudents 11:06 pm 09 Jan 10

Looking for info re this memorial and I came upon these comments.

After all these years the sadness of this event remains part of my family story, so I find it difficult to understand how others can be so clinical and dismissive about whether a memorial is erected/is this tragedy worth remembering/yes, it happened but so long ago etc.

Are the archives so lacking in information that vague recollections and anecdotes are considered sufficient to tell the story?

5 of the 7 victims belonged to 1 extended family: 3 children from one family and 2 cousins, all under 20, who were in one car following the car containing both sets of parents along Yarra Glen. The 2nd car stalled, couldn’t be restarted; the occupants got out and were almost immediately washed away by a huge wall of water, in sight of their parents.

Why do I care? These were family friends, 1 victim was my schoolfriend, her younger brother (6 yrs) a friend of one of my brothers, their parents close friends of ours. I was 16 when this happened. We lived in Curtin, they in Lyons. I will never forget the sound of the rain and noise of cars whooshing along the roads around the suburb that night. My dad was one of many from our community (Holy Trinity Parish, Curtin, and Marist Brothers, Pearce) who spent days searching for those lost while still putting in long working days.

A triple funeral is an unforgettable and tragic experience; that the dead were 20, 16 and 6 years old made it all the more heart rending. The pall bearers were men like my dad who had spent hours and days searching; it was an experience never to be forgotten.

Yes, a memorial is due. This was an event which could have been avoided. Old-timers who knew the Woden Valley as farm land were aware that the roads as they were then configurated, were built in a long term flood channel. No responsibility was acknowledged by NCDC at the time, but it is interesting that the road was reconfigured, lifted and a roundabout built, along with massive drains constructed between Yarra Glen and Curtin all the way from Phillip to Cotter Road.

The parents of those 3 children are still living. Every time I see them it feels like my heart could break, yet they remain at peace with life.

Empathy, my friends. Acknowledge the reality which we have not been asked to live with, and acknowledge a tragedy which from which we can all learn.

Tooks 10:07 am 09 Dec 09

Pandy said :

Memorials impact on the general public who do not have close emotional connection to the incident. Why should the entire nation be expected to mourn these particular deaths? Why are they different from any other death?

Maybe I’m reading your post wrong, but how does putting a memorial in Canberra affect the entire nation?

It is a pretty big event in Canberra’s history, with more lives lost than in the 2003 bush fires.

Grrrr 9:56 am 09 Dec 09

I like how the google ad at the bottom of this page is currently a pic of flood waters around a house, linking to http://www.blobel.com/blobel-spill-control-barriers.html

Thumper 8:52 am 09 Dec 09

I can’t see the problem here. It’s a small memorial that is a reminder of one of the worst disasters in canberra’s history in terms of lives lost.

A small memorial is nothing, especially given what this government is obviously happy to pay out for public art, some good, some bad, some absolutely horrendous.

Obviously there is no political or idealogical mileage in such a memorial, unlike bridges to nowhere and poles in the ground for people who died in Indonesian waters.

Granny 11:10 pm 08 Dec 09

Why do we have a war memorial? Memorials serve a useful purpose, so that people don’t forget the horror and repeat the mistakes … such as building on flood plains etc.

Danman 11:02 pm 08 Dec 09

Looks good cranky – Chemset with a dome head coach screw in each corner of the plaque = tamperproof.

A dynabolt can just have the nut removed and plaque levered up leaving the threaded ends of the dynabolts exposed.

Your idea is more of a permanent solution compared to a dynabolt – partnered with construction adhesive on the back of the plaque and we have a permanent installation

Pandy 10:44 pm 08 Dec 09

Memorials impact on the general public who do not have close emotional connection to the incident. Why should the entire nation be expected to mourn these particular deaths? Why are they different from any other death?

cranky 8:06 pm 08 Dec 09

Danman,

Discover the benefits of Chemset, by Ramset.

Done properly, jackhammer territory. And wouldn’t THAT alert the natives.

Mordd 8:05 pm 08 Dec 09

If the government cant be made to see sense, then im with Danman, have something made up by the families, and im sure we could figure out a way of getting it to people capable of getting it put up somewhere in a way thats going to be too hard to remove afterwards. Guerilla memorial plaquing is a bit different to guerilla gardening but im always for community action where required!

Also I agree with Bam Bam, forty years is not that long, how does the period of time change anything? I fail to see how this is relevant and personally I think the people asking why “they *need* a memorial for *closure*” need to take a good hard look at themselves.

Having recently gone through the loss of a close family member myself only a couple of months ago, I know if it had been a public disaster they died in, I would be campaigning for something like this whether it took, 10, 20, 40, or 80 years to get done, good on you moggie8, keep up the fight I say.

Danman 4:20 pm 08 Dec 09

I see a simple bronze plaque dynabolted and liquid nailed to a concrete structure on site as a tasteful and unobtrusive guerrilla installation.

However, I believe we should give the government the benefit of the doubt for the moment and bide our time to see what is unveiled come January 26th

here is the link to the facebook group should you wish to join.

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster 3:40 pm 08 Dec 09

Digga said :

Just a clarification; where are units being built on flood plains?

Between Woden Plaza and the cemetery.

sloppery 3:00 pm 08 Dec 09

Granny said :

Shame for not letting them have one measly sign!!

Or even a healthy one!

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