Cobar Miners Memorial short-listed for sustainability award

Sam Farraway, a Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly, was in Cobar on Friday and caught up with Mayor Peter Abbott at the Cobar Miners Memorial. Mr Farraway was unable to make the memorial’s official opening in June and so took the opportunity to have a look when he visited last week. Mr Farraway congratulated Barry Knight, who headed up the build project, for all of his hard work, support, dedication and championing of the memorial on behalf of the local community

The Cobar Miners Memorial grabs your attention as you drive into and out of town and it’s also grabbing attention further afield as a finalist in this year’s 2021 Sus-tainability Awards.
This year’s finalists represent the innova-tion, talent and foresight which continues to drive the Australian architecture and design industry forward.
Our memorial, located within the Cobar Miners Heritage Park, has been shortlisted in the Public, Urban & Landscape category (a building or facility or artwork which primarily services, or is used by the public).
It’s one of five projects that were shortlisted in this category with the other four being: Gosford Leagues Club Park, Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre, People Parkers (recycled plastic mobile parklet facili-ties for outdoor dining) and the Waterfall Valley Hut on the Overland Track.
Designed by architect Stephen Pearse, the Cobar Miners Memorial forms a central focus as part of a collection of artefacts and memo-rials.
“While modest in size, the entry scale is manipulated by simple forms and vertical steel blades of the entry portal.
“Its underground setting providing both sustainable outcomes and preserving the im-portant green park land,” the award entry reads.
“The design provides a single room of 60m² under the earth mound.
“Visible from the highway and arranged on the site to capture the pedestrian entry from the carpark, the new building conveys sym-bolic references to the mining industry through simple form and material, respects the site with its earth and landscaped roof and provides paved forecourt for more formal gatherings of family and community on me-morial service days.
“The memorial embraces you on entry to the park, with its tough in-situ concrete walls and the focus, the large steel plate entry por-tal “A minimal abstract expression of the mine head. Steel rusting, bolted, and braced both dramatic and curious to the passer-by.
“A steel spike piercing through the roof as a snorkel to the sky provides a natural vent for the space.
“Within the underground chamber, the sto-ries are told, and the victims memorialised in the symbolic tag board of brass plaques.
“A poignant reminder of the fact that these miners did not tag off on the shift that day.”
Local photographer Klae McGuinness has captured some stunning photos of the miners memorial which form part of the nomination.
The winners of the Sustainability Awards 2021 will be announced tomorrow night as part of the Sustainability Summit digital con-ference.