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The Road Builders Memorial in Katoomba

The Road Builders Memorial Statues

Blue Mountains

Australia’s Blue Mountains has breathtaking natural sceneries. It is so beautiful that I don’t think anyone ever gets tired of looking at it.

Despite these natural potentials which resulted in the establishment of the city of Bathrust only 25 years after Sydney, I didn’t find the city’s architecture and people interesting or welcoming!

To be honest, I actually found most cities, specifically Katoomba, to be creepy and inhabited by rude, strange people. And this is not only my opinion, there are many travelers who think the same way. Katoomba reviews on TripAdvisor

The Road Builders Memorial

Nevertheless, you could still find some interesting historical sites with amazing stories behind them. One of these sites is “The Road Builders Memorial” in Lilianfels Park.

“The sculpture commemorates the convict road builders of the Blue Mountains region. Convict labour was used to build Cox’s Road and, thus, open up the Central West of New South Wales. The road was completed in 1813. The bronze sculpture which took two and a half years to create comprises five human figures, each weighing about 2.8 tonnes. The figures represented are two convict labourers, one carting a boulder and the other swinging a mallet; a trooper, with a rifle and a pot of tea; and two bemused Aboriginal onlookers. The traditional owners bear witness to the brutality dealt to the convict labourers as they work to open up the continent and create a new nation.” – Monument Australia Website

A Project by Katoomba Rotary Club

This is a project done by Katoomba Rotary Club. The statues are brilliantly done by sculptor and artist Terrance Plowright and his team in one and a half life size. They have a powerful prominence and presence as the artist had aimed for. You can listen to the artist from here and here talking about these masterpieces. They are so very well done that for a moment by just looking at them, I could feel the pain of these convicts!

There are also QR codes linked to the audios that explain the stories behind these amazing characters, artists and others involved. I have included these links in this blog post.

The statues were donated by Tom Colless, a descendent of George Colless who was an English pickpocket sentenced to 7 years in the colonies. His statue was created as part of this project. Listen to his story from here. The second statue belonged to Paddy Leonard, an Irish political prisoner who got transported for life because he was part of an uprising against British rule in Ireland. The third statue belonged to Trooper Oliver trump and the fourth and fifth to two men from the Gundungurra and Dharug Nations representing traditional land owners.

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