Bravery GardenPrint Page Print this page

The garden commemorates courage and sacrifice in war and also civilian bravery. The Garden is designed in shape of Southern Cross and the message stones are the points of the stars.

In 1999, after attending a memorial service at Gallipoli, the Governor General, Sir William Deane thought that at Yarralumla they had nothing that keyed into that important aspect of our national life.  At about the same time, Mr John Thurgar was talking to the Official Secretary about the then upcoming 25th anniversary on 14 February 2000 of the introduction in 1975 of Australia's own honours system including our own bravery decorations, both military and civilian. He too was thinking of a garden. The idea developed and took hold of a Garden which would provide a focus at Yarralumla both for courage and sacrifice in war and also for civilian bravery.

John Easthope and Associates were asked to provide some designs. The Official Secretary and Sir William Deane had been thinking of something strongly based on the axis from the front door, perhaps with a long pool of reflection. The designer's genius was to pick on that quintessential Australian symbol, the Southern Cross, to orient it on this site due North and South, with its five major stars providing the reference points for the Message Stones. The Southern Cross speaks its own language: for some it is Eureka; for others, the cross of Christianity; for all of us who live in and love this land it is the symbol and essence of Australia.

The Garden was under construction on the 14th of February 2000 when a ceremony was held at Government House to mark the 25th anniversary of the wholly Australian system of Bravery Decorations. The two Jarrah seats in the Garden were presented to Government House at that time by all those who had come together for that occasion to form the Australian Bravery Association.

The garden was subsequently completed with construction being undertaken by Urban Contractors Pty Ltd and much of the horticultural work being done by the Government House head gardener, Pat Garratt, his Deputy, Norm Dunn, and their truly outstanding staff.


Address:Dunrossil Drive, Government House, Yarralumla, 2600
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.301506
Long: 149.075798
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Garden
Monument Theme:Culture
Designer:John Easthope & Associates
Monument Manufacturer:Urban Contractors Pty Ltd (construction) Pat Garratt (Head Gardener), Norm Dunn (Deputy) & Government House Gardening Staff


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 20th June, 2001
Front Inscription

This garden is dedicated to brave Australians.

Based on the Southern Cross, its message stones depict the Australian military and civil bravery decorations, commemorate those whose bravery cost them their lives and acknowledge the countless acts of bravery that remain unknown.

These wholly Australian awards continue the tradition of the previous Imperial decorations, including the Victoria Cross and the George Cross, awarded to Australians for bravery, especially during the world wars and other conflicts in which Australia took part.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au