Officially unveiled in the heritage village of Berrima on Saturday December 9, a bronze statue of Australia’s first published children’s author Charlotte Atkins has been accepted on behalf of the Southern Highlands community by Council Administrator Viv May.
Around 300 community members came along for the occasion at Marketplace Park.
It was a lovely touch for Charlotte’s four-times great grand-daughters Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell to join Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW in unveiling the statue.
Wingecarribee Women Writers appreciated receiving a $7,000 grant toward The Charlotte Project through Council’s Community Assistance Scheme. This contributed to the cost of materials needed for the impressive, life-sized sculpture created and gifted to the community by Bowral based Sculptor Juile Haseler.
“Wingecarribee Women Writers are grateful to Council for supporting this project and were very pleased to have The Administrator Viv May, General Manager Lisa Miscamble and other Council Team members join us for the big unveiling at Berrima’s Marketplace
Park,” says The Charlotte Project Chair, Lynn Watson. “We are thrilled that residents and visitors will now be able to share in the story of a remarkable piece of our local history by enjoying this beautiful statue of a true pioneering spirit and inspiration to women everywhere.”
Ahead of her time, Charlotte Atkinson was widely recognised as a passionate advocate for women’s education and legal rights. In their book ‘Searching for Charlotte’, her descendants share that she not only survived attacks by bushrangers but was a fearless survivor of violence at home.
“It is fitting for our Shire to recognise a community member who was motivated by her own hardship to advocate for the rights of future generations of women. It’s powerful for young women to see what’s possible for them, demonstrated in the achievements of historical figures like Charlotte,” Council Administrator Mr Viv May said.
The Charlotte Project attracted the interest of many local women from all walks of life who joined in the journey of bringing this project to life. Enjoying a slice of celebration cake together was the icing on the cake for all who took part in the unveiling.
Visit Berrima’s Marketplace Park to see the sculpture for yourself, near the playground.
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