Giant Cross Monument on Memory Mountain erected in remote Northern Territory community in outback Australia
After more than a decade, a vision to build a giant cross in a remote Aboriginal community in Central Australia has become a reality.
- The 20m cross near Haasts Bluff (Ikuntji) was proposed in 2009
- Landscape photographer Ken Duncan has led the project, raising several million dollars through private donations
- Community members hope the site will be a meeting place for locals and create economic opportunities through tourism
First proposed in 2009 by residents of Haasts Bluff (Ikuntji), 230 kilometres west of Alice Springs, the 20-metre-high, multi-million-dollar steel monument was last month erected atop Memory Mountain.
Local elder Douglas Multa said the vision first came to his uncle, Nebo Jugadai, one night at an Easter celebration at the base of the mountain — a site of historical and cultural significance for Haasts Bluff and surrounding communities.
Mr. Multa said he felt emotional seeing the structure completed. “When I first saw it we had tears in our eyes, we cried because it’s in our land — our country,” he said.
“It makes me and my people proud to have something like this in our country.” He hoped the project would help create a prosperous future for the community through tourism. “It’s important because we have been struggling for many years to get job opportunities for the young people, so that cross is going to bring lots of jobs,” he said.
The final element of the monument is expected to be completed by the end of the year when solar-powered LED lights will be installed to illuminate the cross.
Mr Duncan said a company — Memory Mountain Limited — had been established to support the development of the project, with a board made up of Indigenous people living in the surrounding communities, as well as Mr Duncan and his wife, Pam.