Information from the Ballarat Region Workers Memorial flyer
On the Glenelg Highway just outside Ballarat, in the new Winterfield Estate, in parkland along the Kensington Creek, a space has been reserved for a Ballarat and Region Workers Memorial.
Near this place on the morning on the 21st March 2018, Jack Brownlee 21 and Charlie Howkins 34 were killed at work in a trench collapse. Charlie died instantly and Jack died in the Royal Melbourne Hospital the next day. This incident was a catalyst for change that saw Jack and Charlie's families (Janine, Dave and Lana) bravely lend their voices to the hundreds of other families, Unions and workers who had fought for decades from across our state and nation for Industrial Mansalughter laws and who had loved ones who never came home from work.
On the 26th November 2019, the Victorian Parliament passed the offence of Industrial Manslaughter, with an Amendment Bill which became law on the 1st July 2020, making the death of a worker due to negligence by an employer a criminal offence for the first time in Victoria's history.
The Memorial will be a place for Jack and Charlie's families and for all families in our region who have had loved ones never return from work - past, present, and unfortunately future. It will be the focus of Workers Memorial day each year on the 28th April for a 12pm service for workers in the Ballarat region, followed by a BBQ unch where a few hundred people can be accommodated around the memorial in parkland and for the local community living in the Winterfield estate it will be a positive and affirmative piece of public art in their parkland. It will also boldly acknowledge the introduction of the Industrial Manslaughter law in Victoria and all those who fought for its inception.
The streets in the new estate bordering the parkland are aptly named after Jack and Charlie: Howkins Avenue and Brownlee Boulevard.
We mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living!
Jack and Charlie's families have decided to work with Garry Anderson, a local Ballarat artist. Making art is Garry's full-time career and he is well represented in many public and private connections both locally and internationally. His work has been huing and shortlisted on the five occasions he has entered the Alice Bail Prize. As well as being a find portrait painter, Garry has received much critical acclaim for his sculptures, streetscapes, landscapes, still-life, and his special genre 'yard scenes' - that have been described as poignant renderings of Australian backyards.
To engage Garry to work with Jack and Charlie's families and to design, construct and erect the Workers Memorial, we will require over $100,000 - can you help us realise this important work to mark the tragedy that became the catalyst for so much positive change?
To donate, use the below bank transfer details.
HACSU has donated $2000 to this worthy cause.
Name: Trades Hall Council Union