Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Northern Grampians statue for Stella a step closer

Northern Grampians Shire Council plans for a statue honouring disability advocate, Stella Young, who passed away in 2015 at just 32 years of age, have been approved by the well-known comedian and journalist’s parents.

Council says the Remembering Stella Young project is making great progress, with the statue’s concept design now finalised for a location within Cato Park.

Expressions of Interest have also been sought for the delivery of an ‘Accessible Interactive Information’ package to complement the statue tribute.

“This component will enable information about Stella, her work, and her message to be accessed by a wide audience. Under the guidance of Janice Florence, Arts Access Victoria has been instrumental in assisting with the engagement of women with a lived experience of disability. With support from Arts Access Victoria, the project has been guided by a Creative and Access Collective of women,” Council said in a statement.

A 1/5 scale model of the statue has been made by Creative Consultant, Danny Fraser. The design brief was developed by the project’s Creative Collective, in collaboration with Stella’s parents.

The sculpture of Stella in her wheelchair, will be life size and cast in bronze, Council said.

The proposed site has been audited by an accessibility consultant and improvements are being planned to coincide with the statue unveiling. Planned improvements include a new accessible carpark, path repairs and gradient modifications. 

“It is wonderful to see the work of so many people coming together towards creating this beautiful memorial of Stella,” said Stella’s mother, Lynne Young.

“We are very happy with the proposed design and look forward to seeing it in place at Cato Park once completed,” she said. 

Mayor of Northern Grampians Shire Council, Murray Emerson said the Remembering Stella Young project had highlighted the accessibility considerations that need to inform the work of council going forward. 

“Council acknowledges that improvements for accessibility are needed across the shire and council has been working towards establishing a staged plan to undertake the necessary works in the future,” Mayor Emerson said. 

The statue is scheduled for completion early next year and will be celebrated with an unveiling event. 

The Remembering Stella Young project is supported by the Victorian Government. 

For further information about the project visit Remembering Stella Young (ngshire.vic.gov.au)

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