"Honour and Praise we are jealous of giving to him who in danger works hard day to day": memorialisation and industrial disasters in Western Ausralia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

According to the website, Monument Australia, there are over 30,000 monuments currently recorded in Australia. The overwhelming majority of these are monuments to the fallen of various overseas wars in which Australians have fought. Only 96 commemorate industrial accidents, and only eight of these are in Western Australia. While the numbers killed in the two World Wars far exceed Australian work fatalities, in Western Australia significant numbers have been killed in industrial accidents. In the 21st century to date, more than 50 miners have been killed in WA, a number that exceeds the total Australian fatalities in the Afghanistan War—there are already at least ten memorials to these soldiers. Additionally, thousands (both miners and family members) have died (and will die) as a result of mining-related diseases. This paper asks why are there so many memorials to active service personnel compared with those commemorating the deaths of industrial workers? It discusses several factors which contribute to the privileging of war memorials, including the numbers of fatalities involved, memorials as a focus of commemoration and the significant resources that governments have provided for the construction of new memorials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in Western Australian History
Volume32
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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