"Phoenix - Spirit of Recovery"Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams
The sculpture of Phoenix symbolises the remarkable effort made by Bankstown Council staff, residents and friends to recover after a fire destroyed the Council's administration building on July 1st, 1997.  A plaque on the sculpture also commemorates the opening of Paul Keating Park in 2000. 

The Phoenix monument in Paul Keating Park was created by artist / sculptor Alan Somerville and took approximately 3 months . It represents rebuilding from the fire of July 1st 1997 and is a symbol of prosperity for the entire Bankstown area. Symbolising rising from the ashes and the rebirth of spirit. Bankstown's motto throughout the recovery effort was "Operation Phoenix - Spirit of Recovery'. The monument includes an historic plaque that tells the story of the devastating fire and recovery for future generations. In a gesture of friendship, Bankstown Council received funds towards the statue from its Sister City, Suita in Japan. 



Address:The Mall , Paul Keating Park, Bankstown, 2200
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.915909
Long: 151.035389
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:01-July-1997
Actual Event End Date:01-July-1997
Designer:Alan Somerville


Front Inscription

"Phoenix - Spirit of Recovery"

This monument symbolises the remarkable effort made by Bankstown Council staff, residents and friends of the  City of Bankstown to recover after fire destroyed Councils Administration building on July 1st 1997.

The Phoenix bird represents prosperity, rebirth and growth from the ashes. According to legend the Phoenix lived more than 500 years, when it felt death approaching, would set itself on fire.  After 3 days a new Phoenix would emerge from the ashes.

Operation "Phoenix - Spirit of Recovery" was the project name adopted by Council to capture the determination of all involved to overcome the fire and restore vital services. Despite difficult circumstances within 24 hours, staff were working from demountable offices in the car park and phone lines were connected.

The effort to rebuild was immense. Throughout, Council never lost the "Spirit of Recovery"

Bankstown's Sister City "Suita" in Japan was quick to show support with a donation that went towards this sculpture.

This monument acknowledges the spirit, dedication and support of all Council staff, the Bankstown community and our Sister City "Suita" in Japan.

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