National Site of Recognition for thalidomide survivors and their families

We are establishing a National Site of Recognition for thalidomide survivors and their families, to be located in Canberra

The National Site of Recognition is part of the broader package of support under the Australian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program

Initial survey

In April 2021, we surveyed survivors, their families, carers and friends to understand what they thought the intent and aspirations for the site should be. 

The 91 responses to the survey helped inform the objective for the site:

The National Site of Recognition for thalidomide survivors and their families aspires to recognise and honour the pain and suffering experienced by thalidomide survivors, as well as the impact on their loved ones, and is to serve as an enduring reminder to all Australians that the lessons of the tragedy must never be forgotten.

The key findings of the survey are:

  • Over half of respondents (51.8%) want the portrayal of thalidomide injuries to be literal, while 24.1% prefer an abstract portrayal.
  • Respondents want a location that is highly visible and close to foot traffic but is peaceful and allows for reflection.
  • Respondents are eager for the site to include natural and landscape or garden elements.
  • Most respondents (83.3%) say it is crucial the site raises awareness and educates the public about the thalidomide tragedy.

National Site of Recognition Steering Committee

We have established a steering committee to help guide decisions about the location, design and dedication of the site. The steering committee acts on behalf of thalidomide survivors, their families, friends, and carers. 

Find out more about the steering committee and view the minutes from committee meetings.

Last updated: 
7 December 2021

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