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  • Hayley Clark

The true details of the Crowther monument in Franklin Square

This is my short address to the council when it voted historically to allow the removal and conservation of the Crowther monument in Franklin Square.

There was a lots of hype and scariness as people who didn't take part in the debate and were not involved at any stage over the last three years when piece by piece this statue and its relevancy in modern times was debated and displayed.

There were errors in the process and as a lawyer and someone who believes in doing the right an ethical thing I found I was on a path with a left and right and I was in the middle of the junction. To the left was the easy option of we haven't done is right, we don't have a policy and people haven't been fully consulted and I didn't believe some of the reasons put forward justifyed the removal.

On the right was a new way of dealing with the past. The way in which having seen firsthand the preparedness of our first Nations people to talking and dealing and discussing the future there is a way forward for this dispossessed people and the greater community. The bigotry and insensitivity of 95% of the online comments that followed told it all. We haven't advanced one iota in our understanding of what it takes to be a true nation together irrespective of the hype and of the apology etc.

It was great to play a tiny part in giving one side of history a small victory last night whilst ensuring that the statue itself is not crudely torn down as it is sometimes being reported. It will be conserved and at some stage re-erected with a history tale .


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