Miners Tribute MonumentPrint Page Print this page

The Miners Tribute Monument was developed by four retired miners - former Miners Federation general vice-president Bob Graham, former federation general secretary Barry Swan, former safety inspector Victor Parkinson and ex-Coalcliff Coke Works manager Kevin Wiseman. The monument recognises the contribution of coal mining to the region since 1880.

The park, at the corner of Caldwell Ave and Foothills Rd, once functioned as a paddock for the horses used to pull coal skips into the nearby Corrimal Mine and is the site of the $100,000 stone memorial depicting significant mining events that have shaped the Illawarra.

The memorial itself comprises three main elements, and addresses a number of themes. A centrepiece consists of a granite plaque outlining the purpose of the memorial, and a loaded skip, a wagon used to bring coal from the working face of a mine to the surface. To its right is a solid memorial wall, and to its left an arched memorial wall capped by a representation of a miner’s safety hat, designating the Miners Federation Peace Grove. Both left and right walls display numerous tiles with embedded graphics describing a number of relevant themes. The right wall largely addresses one of the major themes, that of the role of pit ponies in the industry hauling coal underground. Hundreds of pit ponies were used over the years for this purpose, sometimes working up to twenty years. They were usually well cared for and fed like racehorses, becoming part of work teams underground. The last pit ponies were used in Illawarra mines in 1972 in the Mt. Kembla and North Bulli No2 mines.

The left wall (the Peace Grove wall) focuses more on the industrial organisational aspect of coal mining, and acknowledges the role of the Miners Federation and in particular that of their Ladies Auxiliary. The latter not only  supported the miners, but also actively participated in some disputes (as for example, that at the Bulli Mine in 1887). Several notable disputes are depicted, both where workers elected to stay underground in protest – at Glen Davis in 1952 and Kemira Sit In.




Address:Caldwell Ave & Foothills Road, Balgownie, 2519
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.381366
Long: 150.881884
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Technology
Designer:Michael Keighery


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 3rd July, 2012
Front Inscription
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au