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Deceased Workers Memorial Forest: remembering those who died at work

John E Brown Park (Park 27A)

photo-icon Deceased Workers Memorial Forest

“Every one of the Memorial Trees holds the hope of life...The loss is immeasurable, the grief has no boundaries, no depth, and no width. It seeps into every corner and stains even the most perfect of sunrises and wondrous sunset because both are just another reminder of another day spent without a loved one.

A grief that has no answer it has no explanation, there is no solace…Life goes on, living without truly living, learning to love and smile through the tears, but there is no real peace.”

Rosemary McKenzie Ferguson (Memorial Founder), 17th January 2016.

The Deceased Workers Memorial Forest was established in 2003 as a way of remembering those who died at their workplace from injury or illness due to work, transport deaths and work-related suicide. Between 2003 to 2015, over 280 Eucalyptus leucoxylon trees were planted on the International Day of Mourning (28 of April) with each tree representing a worker who lost his or her their life. However the true number of deaths due to workplace illness or disease in South Australia will never be known.

This memorial established in 2016 recognises workers through engravings that represent the number of workplace deaths in the State for the previous calendar year. The sculptural balloons are symbolic of the many balloons that are released on the International Day of Mourning. Each colour has a different meaning:

Black - workplace fatal incidents

White - death due to industrial disease or illness.

Blue - death due within the transport industry.

Red - death due to suicide as a result of the workplace bullying or workplace injury

The Deceased Workers Memorial Forest holds national significance, being the only memorial in the world in which plantings are used as formal recognition of workplace deaths. Due to this significance the memorial forest is visited by people from interstate and overseas.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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