THE Koondoola Peace Park will officially open this Sunday at the Vietnamese Community in Australia WA Chapter’s Black April commemorations.
The centrepiece of the $262,000 peace park is a major artwork referencing the Vietnam War’s Battle of Long Tan.
The 3m high and 2m wide sculpture, designed and built by Quinns Rocks sculptor Mehdi Rasulle and installed this week, features panels of corten steel and aluminium to represent Australia and Vietnam.
The Vietnamese Community in Australia’s WA Chapter president Anh Nguyen said the artwork had a lotus flower on top, which represented the good and beauty that can come out of war.
“It has two soldiers, with guns pointed down, no longer in war time,” he said.
“In the morning, the sun will rise and light up the hollow cut-out area.”
Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the peace park was a place for quiet reflection, as well as commemorative community events.
“The artwork is complemented by beautiful landscaping, providing a place for quiet reflection and contemplation for anyone, especially those involved with, or who have a connection to, the Vietnam War,” she said. “The City of Wanneroo is proudly home to a large number of Vietnamese people, so it was very important to honour those involved in this significant part of world history.”
The mayor thanked members of the Koondoola Peace Park working group, which included Wanneroo RSL and VCA members, for their contribution to the project.
Dr Nguyen said he approached the City about having a monument to commemorate the Battle of Long Tan and appreciated the result of the project.
“It will be a good place for anyone who wants to reflect about Australian history,” he said.
Wanneroo RSL president Jack Le Cras said the veterans’ sub-branch would also look at holding services at the park in the future.
Dr Nguyen said the first part of the April 29 event would unveiling the artwork, with the annual Black April commemoration of the Fall of Saigon on April 20, 1975, to follow.