Late journalist, comedian and disability rights advocate Stella Young has been immortalised in a bronze statue at Cato Park in Stawell as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Women’s Public Art Program.
Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins today joined Stella’s family, artists and the community in an official ceremony in Cato Park which included the performance of a song by Stella’s father, Greg Young.
The statue is the first of six artworks to be unveiled over coming months as part of the Victorian Women’s Public Art Program – a $1 million investment.
A Creative Collective of artists Sarah Barton, Jillian Pearce, Janice Florence and Fayen D’Evie, alongside Lynne and Greg Young, developed the vision for the project and local sculptor Danny Fraser created it.
Their involvement led to the creation of features such as a porcelain QR code on the sandstone plinth near the statue for visitors with low vision, which takes people through to a website about Stella, and audio that is triggered via motion sensors.
The Labor Government is ensuring the significant achievements of Victorian women, like Stella, are better represented and recognised under the landmark program.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins
“Stella was a force to be reckoned with. Through words and wit, through intelligence and humour, she called on society to raise its expectations about what people with disability are capable of.
“She challenged our ideas and assumptions, demanded that we learn from people with disability’s lived experience, and then take action to build a better, fairer and more inclusive society.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jacinta Ermacora
“As we work towards addressing the gender imbalance in public representation, towards our public spaces honestly reflecting our community, I can’t think of a more fitting Victorian woman to honour than Stella Young.”
Quotes attributable to Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Kevin Erwin
“The project has, for us, highlighted how much work needs to be done to ensure true accessibility. Let us all continue to appreciate and learn from Stella by recognising her achievements, remembering to push boundaries, fighting for what you believe in and always speaking our truth.”
Reviewed 30 March 2023