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Speakers Corner : 08-July-2011
Speakers Corner : 08-July-2011

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

Speakers Corner (Yarra Bank) commemorates those throughout history who have informed the public of matters of interest and concern and symbolises the importance of the place as a site for free speech.  An interpretive sculpture has been added, comprising four low-lying, stepped pink-granite outcrops which are inscribed with quotations.  The National Speakers Association of Australia was responsible for a commemorative plaque being placed at the site.

For most of its past Speakers Corner has been known as Yarra Bank, a site for political, religious and ideological debate.

Between 1890 and the 1960s orators would gather to articulate their views on local and international issues. It was originally a one-hectare, heavily treed area at the western tip of Flinders Park, where orators voiced opinion and dissent from nine bluestone-faced granite mounds (probably built in the 20th century).

The site was most attended during periods of upheaval and struggle, such as during World War One, the Depression and the 1940s, when leftist politics were beginning to feel the force of repression. From the 1960s, and with the rise of more varied media, the site has been comparatively quiet, serving as a meeting place for participants following the annual May Day parade.

The construction of the Exhibition Street extension to Batman Avenue in the late 1990s saw changes to Speakers Corner, now integrated into the western point of Birrarung Marr. It was reduced in size, eight of its established trees were removed and three of its mounds were resited at the western side of the site.





Address:Exhibition Street, Near Birrarung Marr, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.819992
Long: 144.975508
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Artist:Evangelos Sakaris


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2000
Front Inscription

Plaque : 

Yarra Bank H1353

This words in granite emerging from the earth symbolise the importance of this place as a site of free speech.

Artist : Evangelos Sakaris, 2000

Yarra Bank was created here in the 1880s and was a focal point for radical thought and debate for almost a century.

Crowds of several hundred were common.

Plaque :
Yarra Bank H1353

This Speakers` Mound was relocated here in 2000, close to its original position

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