4. 0 Understanding the Heritage Values 1 Assessing Heritage Values of King George V memorial



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4.0 Understanding the Heritage Values

4.1 Assessing Heritage Values of King George V Memorial


King George V Memorial is established as a place with Commonwealth Heritage value, it meets the Commonwealth Heritage criteria for significant heritage values as set out in Table 4.1 below.

However, the existing official Commonwealth Heritage assessment of the memorial requires revision to ensure an assessment is undertaken where there are gaps in the CHL citation, or changes are addressed over time.

Of particular importance for the NCA and to fill the gap in the current CHL citation is the understanding of the memorial’s setting—the physical, visual and historic context. How does the memorial contribute to the heritage values of the Parliament House Vista and Old Parliament House?

The revised assessment in this section provides the NCA with a comprehensive understanding of the heritage values, which in turn allows for appropriate management policies to be developed (Section 5.0) and prepared (Section 6.0).


4.2 Heritage Values of King George V Memorial

4.2.1 Official Heritage Values


King George V Memorial was included in the CHL (Place ID: 105352) on 22 June 2004. The following assessment against the criteria is from the official CHL citation, which was transferred directly to the list from RNE, without revision.

Table 4.1 Official CHL Assessment Against Criteria.

Commonwealth Heritage Criteria

Official Assessment Against the Criteria

Criterion (a)

Processes

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in the course, or pattern, of Australia's natural or cultural history.

The King George V Memorial is a substantial Canberra example of a place that tangibly reflects the importance of the Australian Head of State within the Australian system of government. The statue commemorates King George V, Monarch at the time of the opening of the Provisional Parliament House, which was a major formative period in the development of Canberra. The monument symbolises the link between the Monarch and the early growth of Canberra. Formerly located as a central feature of the land axis, it was a landmark for early Canberrans as a meeting point. Despite being re-sited to the edge of the land axis, it remains a significant, symbolic feature.

Attributes
The whole memorial plus its physical association with Old Parliament House.


Criterion (b)

Rarity

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Australia's natural or cultural history.

The official CHL entry makes no assessment against this criterion.

Criterion (c) Research Potential for Information

the place has significant heritage value because of the place’s potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Australia’s natural or cultural history.

The official CHL entry makes no assessment against this criterion.

Criterion (d)

Characteristic Values

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of Australia's natural or cultural places;

The Memorial is, in part, an example and one of seven Canberra examples of Inter War Art Deco style architecture. Key features of the style displayed include the emphatic verticality of the pylon or tower element, stepped skyline, granite paving echoing the granite base courses of a building and the use of a stylised high relief figure of Saint George with a realistic bronze figure of King George.

Attributes:

Its Inter War Art Deco style evident in the features noted above.

Criterion (e) Aesthetic Characteristics

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics valued by a community or cultural group.

Designed to be viewed in the round, and not sympathetically located in its present position, the memorial is a significant feature of the Parliament House Vista landscape and provides enframement to the land axis space.

Attributes
The whole memorial and its location within the land axis.


Criterion (f) Degree of Creative or Technical Achievement

the place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.

The official CHL entry makes no assessment against this criterion.

Criterion (g) Social Values

the place has significant heritage value because of the place’s strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

The official CHL entry makes no assessment against this criterion.

Criterion (h) Significant People

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Australia's natural or cultural history.

The Memorial has a special association with George V as Australia's third Head of State, being the major Commonwealth symbol of his service.

The memorial is significant for its association with the sculptor, Rayner Hoff who played an important role in the development of Australian sculpture.

Attributes
References to, and portrayal of, George V plus the whole memorial as the work of Rayner Hoff.

Criterion (i) Indigenous

the place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance as part of Indigenous tradition.

The official CHL entry makes no assessment against this criterion.


4.2.2 Official Summary Statement of Significance


The following summary statement of significance has been taken from the official CHL citation for King George V Memorial:

The King George V Memorial is a substantial Canberra example of a place which tangibly reflects the importance of the Australian Head of State within the Australian system of government. The statue commemorates King George V, Monarch at the time of the opening of the Provisional Parliament House, which was a major formative period in the development of Canberra. The monument symbolises the link between the Monarch and the early growth of Canberra. Formerly located as a central feature of the land axis, it was a landmark for early Canberrans as a meeting point. Despite being resited to the edge of the land axis, it remains a significant, symbolic feature. (Criterion A4) Australian Historic Theme 8.7 Honouring achievement, 8.9 Commemorating significant events.

The Memorial has a special association with George V as Australia's third Head of State, being the major Commonwealth symbol of his service. (Criterion H1)

The Memorial is, in part, an example and one of seven Canberra examples of Inter War Art Deco style architecture. Key features of the style displayed include the emphatic verticality of the pylon or tower element, stepped skyline, granite paving echoing the granite base courses of a building and the use of a stylised high relief figure of Saint George with a realistic bronze figure of King George. Designed to be viewed in the round, and not sympathetically located in its present position, the memorial is a significant feature of the Parliament House Vista landscape and provides enframement to the land axis space (Criteria D2 and E1).

The memorial is significant for its association with the sculptor, Rayner Hoff who played an important role in the development of Australian sculpture (Criterion H1).

4.3 Heritage Values of Other Elements in the Setting


This section provides a summary of the heritage values of the Parliament House Vista, Old Parliament House and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy—these elements are part of King George V Memorial’s setting.

4.3.1 Official Summary Statement of Significance for Parliament House Vista


Parliament House Vista is included in the CHL (Place ID: 105466). The following excerpts are from the summary statement of significance. It is a long statement reflecting the complexity and importance of the place. The excerpts quoted here have been selected for their relevance to the King George V Memorial and its setting.

The Parliament House Vista is the central designed landscape of Canberra that expresses the core of the Walter Burley Griffin design vision for Canberra. It is highly significant for its symbolic representation of the democratic interchange between the people and their elected representatives and its use of the natural landforms to generate a strong planning geometry.

It expresses a masterly synthesis and ordering of topographical features and administrative functions to meet the needs of a national capital. The vista landscape embraces the central land axis and part of the water axis and most of the Parliamentary Triangle including the area known as the Parliamentary Zone. The significance incorporates Walter Burley Griffin's vision for the area, as the focus of Commonwealth parliamentary and governmental activity as well as national cultural life. This vision has been partly realised and the place is the setting for major, government, judicial and cultural institutions.

The northern extent of the vista of Anzac Parade and the Australian War Memorial, despite differing from the original plan, are significant for memorial purposes developed in response to the needs of the people. Despite being modified to a lesser degree to accommodate the impact of wars on Australians, the Vista now presents as a philosophical concept expressed in urban planning, landscape and architecture, to achieve a grand vision of a symbolic, unified and visually dramatic place.

The Parliament House Vista incorporating the central national area, is the core of the most ambitious and most successful example of twentieth century urban planning in Australia. It is important for its design pattern with large landscape and waterscape spaces with their enframement by treed avenues and at the lake by bridges, the terminal vista features of the Australian War Memorial and Mount Ainslie at the northern end and Parliament House at the southern end, with the Carillon and Captain Cook Jet creating balanced vertical features in the water plane.

The spatial setting of the buildings as features in the landscape reflects Beaux Arts planning concepts and the building masses and their careful location complement the significance of the overall landscape pattern. Across the Parliamentary Triangle, the buildings of Old Parliament House, and East and West Blocks provide a distinctive Stripped Classical architectural patterned horizontal band that contributes to the symmetrical overall patterning of the landscape. At a higher elevation, Parliament House is a significant feature terminating the southern end of the land axis, culminating the classical landmark image of the triangle apex.

The vista landscape is significant for its richness of features. Many places in the Vista area have individual heritage significance for their architectural design and historic importance. These include Old Parliament House and Curtilage… and King George V Memorial.

Adding to the richness of the place is the manner in which Griffin's vision of democracy has also been emphasised, as places within the area have become identified with political protest actions by people, as exemplified in the significant Aboriginal Embassy site.

Historic Importance

The central national area of Canberra is strongly associated with the history of politics and government in Australia and the development of Canberra as the Australian National Capital. It is significant as the home of the Commonwealth Parliament, the focus of the Federal Government since 1927, initially in the Old Parliament House and from 1988 in the new Parliament House.

The central national area has strong links with the planning and development of Canberra as the Australian Capital. The relocation of Parliament to Canberra and the central national area in 1927 was the focus of an intense period of development of the new city and gave purpose to Canberra as the Nation's Capital.

The area has been associated since 1941 with the development of Australian cultural life and national identity through the presence of such institutions as the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Science and Technology Centre and the National Library of Australia. The national cultural institutions reinforce the national character of the area and are an important symbolic group in Australia's national cultural life. The Australian War Memorial and Anzac Parade memorials and, to a lesser extent, the other memorials have and continue to play a very important role in fostering aspects of national identity, in particular the Australian War Memorial through its role as a National Shrine for all Australians.

Social Importance

The area has strong and special associations with the broad Australian community because of its social values as a symbol of Australia and Federal Government. The values have developed over many years since Canberra's creation and the relocation of the Parliament in 1927 gave them a special focus. Memorial features include sculptures, plaques, commemorative trees, water features and gardens. The collection of sculptures, associated art and design which comprise the Anzac Parade Memorials, give expression to key aspects of the history of Australia's armed forces and Australia's war involvement, and possess high social value.

The special association for the community is also the use of the area by people demonstrating against government decisions. The central national area, particularly Parkes Place in front of Old Parliament House, has been used for countless demonstrations.

Aesthetic Value

The place has high aesthetic significance due to the visual impact of the extensive open sweeping vista along the land axis that can be experienced in two directions, the designed axes set within natural features of forested hills, patterns and textures of architectural massing accentuated by planned open spaces, water planes and tree plantings that are arranged across the area.

Associational Value

The central national area has a special association with its designer, Walter Burley Griffin. Griffin is an important figure in Australia's cultural history for his overall design of Canberra as the Nation's Capital. The special association between the central national area and Griffin results from the area being the centrepiece of the planning geometry for Canberra and perhaps the only part of his Canberra plan to survive relatively intact.

4.3.2 Parkes Place in the National Triangle


King George V Memorial is located within Parkes Place. A heritage assessment against the Commonwealth Heritage criteria is included in the 2011 Parkes Place and the Rose Gardens HMP. There is no official Commonwealth Heritage listing for Parkes Place. However, the draft HMP makes the case that Parkes Place and the components of the area, including King George V Memorial, are of Commonwealth Heritage value and a very important part of the Parliament House Vista. The HMP states that Parkes Place:

is prominently sited within the Vista and it contributes to the landscape of the Parliament House Vista;

presents a formal landscape character of axes, vistas, formal tree and rose plantings, ponds, paths and roadways consistent with the character of the Parliamentary Zone and Anzac Parade;

including the National Rose Gardens, has strong aesthetic and social values for the local Canberra community; and

makes a substantial contribution to the Parliament House Vista conservation area, and the Vista is arguably of outstanding heritage value. The larger area is unique within Australia as a designed national place, or indeed as a series of component national places, evolving over time and contributing to this larger national landscape. Its physical evolution has allowed a tradition of landscape architecture and horticulture to be developed which is unparalleled in any other Australian city.1

4.3.3 Official Summary Statement of Significance for Old Parliament House


Old Parliament House is included in the CHL and the NHL (Place ID: 105774). The following provides excerpts from the NHL summary statement of significance. The quotations have been selected for their relevance to King George V Memorial.

As the home of Australia's Federal Parliament, for 61 years, Old Parliament House is important for significant milestones of Australia's democracy history that were forged within the building, particularly national legislation development that was critical to the improving social processes, landmark political events such as the establishment of new political parties, and numerous national political events.

The front facade of Old Parliament House including its entrance portico and the immediate grassed area to its north have been the setting of countless events gatherings, protests and demonstrations. Significant amongst these are the opening of the building in 1927 that heralded the symbolic birth of Canberra as the Nation's capital. A sequence of defining events for Aboriginal rights at Old Parliament House included the Yirrkala Bark Petition, the 1967 Referendum and the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972, all of which contributed towards Aboriginal Land Rights legislation. Another major event was the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975.

King's Hall … features bas-relief busts of prominent personalities related to Federation, the judiciary and of the first Parliament in 1901 on its colonnades, and portraits of former Prime Ministers, as well as the statue of King George V.

Old Parliament House is a landmark feature and has a major role in the symbolic physical representation of a democracy in the Parliamentary Triangle. Being sited on the land axis and along with Parliament House, displaying the historic sequence of Parliament, it contributes to the planned aesthetic qualities of the Parliamentary Triangle. The two buildings are a major vista feature along the land axis and represent the primacy of Parliament over the executive arm of government. Old Parliament House demonstrates a high degree of achievement in combining built features into the designed landscape to achieve an aesthetic purpose.

4.3.4 Heritage Values of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy


The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is included in the non-statutory RNE (Place ID: 18843) and is referred to as the Aboriginal Embassy Site. The following excerpts are from the summary statement of significance and have been selected for their relevance to the King George V Memorial and its setting.

From the moment of its inception in 1972, the Aboriginal Embassy Site has been the focus for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's political struggle for land rights, sovereignty, autonomy, equality and self-government.

The Aboriginal Embassy Site is also important as a place that has focused international attention on these political activities. It is therefore significant in the history of Aboriginal political culture. The first recorded Aboriginal political protest at the site was made during the opening of Parliament House in 1927 by Jimmy Clements (also known by many other names including King Billy, King of Canberra, and King of the Orange Tribe) (Criterion A.4).

The Aboriginal Embassy Site is unique because it is the only Aboriginal site in Australia that is recognised nationally as a site representing political struggle for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The site of the Embassy also has significance for the local Aboriginal community because it was used in the past as a meeting and gathering ground. As such it represents part of the traditional way of life of the local Aboriginal community.

The Aboriginal Embassy Site is important as a National meeting ground for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from many different communities. It is a place where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people share knowledge about dance, language, music, culture and history. It is a place where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people find family and friends and where they can be educated about Aboriginal political history. It is therefore highly valued by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for symbolic, cultural, political, educational and social associations.

4.4 Revised Assessment of Heritage Values of the King George V Memorial


This section is a re-assessment of King George V Memorial against the Commonwealth Heritage criteria to validate the presence of the official heritage values. Section 10.03A of the EPBC Act Regulations defines nine Commonwealth Heritage criteria for evaluating, identifying and assessing the Commonwealth Heritage values of a place, and the revised assessment is analysed against the criteria set out in Table 4.2.

Heritage values evolve and change over time and this HMP provides a timely opportunity to check and revise the values of the King George V Memorial. Primarily the revision establishes the relevance of the memorial’s setting and a strong connection with Old Parliament House and the Parliament House Vista.

From the official assessment there was no assessment against criteria (b), (c), (f), (g) or (i). To ensure no ambiguity in the future, the revised assessment states where the King George V Memorial does not meet the criteria.

The following criteria required reassessment:

under criterion (a) the CH citation does not comprehensively assess the setting as part of the historic processes and associations with the memorial;

under criterion (e) the CHL assessment of aesthetic values includes a discussion only of the original location, not its current location or its architectural aesthetic values;

criterion (f) the technical achievement in the creation and design of the memorial was not assessed;

criterion (g) the social values, while not formally tested for this HMP, have been assessed in the Parliament House Vista HMP and the Parkes Place HMP; and

under criterion (h) significant associations were attributed only to King George V and the sculptors Hoff and Moorfield were not included; however, both artists and the architect (Foskett) were key to the design, implementation and completion of the monument.
Table 4.2 Revised Assessment of King George V Memorial against the Commonwealth Heritage Criteria.

Commonwealth Heritage Criteria

Assessment Against the Commonwealth Heritage Criteria

Criterion (a) Processes

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in the course, or pattern, of Australia's natural or cultural history.

The memorial is important in course and pattern of Australia's cultural and political history.

The memorial is the tangible expression of the national commemoration of King George V, a King who was highly regarded by his Australian political subjects, especially for his actions and leadership during World War I and participation in Australia’s Federation. There is also a historic connection with HRH Duke of York, who opened (old) Parliament House in 1927 for the first Parliament in Canberra and unveiled the statue to his father, King George V inside Parliament House on the same day.

Integral to the design of the King George V Memorial is the commemoration of significant events in Australia’s history including the representation of Australia’s connection to the British monarch, the first twenty five years of Federation, and the unity of Empire as a Commonwealth of Nations owing allegiance to one sovereign. Federation and the opening of Australia’s first sitting of Parliament are marked by the inclusion of bronze plaques and text featuring and celebrating Federation and the achievements of Sir Henry Parkes and Sir Edmund Barton. The memorial also symbolises and commemorates the efforts of Australians in the Great War through bronze plaques.

King George V Memorial was a symbolic landmark associated with the development of Canberra as the National Capital. The memorial’s original site, in front of Old Parliament House and central location on the land axis, at the time emphasised the importance of the connection between the monarchy, Australian democracy and Federation. The memorial became a familiar and popular meeting place for the Canberra community in the late 1950s and 1960s, due to its unmistakeable landmark values.

Despite its current siting off the land axis in Parkes Place the memorial continues to have a physical and historical connection with Old Parliament House dating from a formative period in Canberra’s development, and incorporates key symbols commemorating Australia’s political evolution associated with the Commonwealth and Australian Federation.

The relocation of the memorial out of the centre of the Parliamentary Vista has historic significance as it reflects the shift in political and social attitudes toward the British Empire and, to more egalitarian values of Australian democracy and the diminishing role of the monarchy as part of Australian national identity.

The more recent use of the former memorial site by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy from 1972 symbolically and brought the issue of land rights to the political arena demonstrating a historically significant evolution to new forms of Australian cultural and political identity.

Attributes

The whole memorial and its statuary. The original site and the current site.



Criterion (b) Rarity

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Australia's natural or cultural history.

The King George V Memorial is not a rare aspect of Australia's cultural history—it is not the only example of its type. There are other statues and memorials to King George V in Australia and in Canberra, including a statue in Old Parliament House.

The memorial does not meet this criterion.



Criterion (c) Potential for Information

the place has significant heritage value because of the place’s potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Australia’s natural or cultural history.

The King George V Memorial is not likely to yield information that will contribute to a greater understanding of Australia's cultural history.

The memorial does not meet this criterion.



Criterion d) Characteristic Values

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of:

i. a class of Australia's natural or cultural places; or

ii. a class of Australia's natural or cultural environments.

The King George V Memorial is characteristic of an important period in Australia’s history; Australia’s Federation and the establishment of the National Capital. It is also characteristic of Australia’s celebration of the British monarchy and the role King George V played in Australia’s federation during his reign. The popularity of King George V’s reign is also reflected in the number of statuaries and other memorial forms dedicated to him in Australia.

The memorial is a characteristic and distinctive Art Deco component of the National Triangle with a historic and visual connection to Old Parliament House—a place of national heritage significance.

The memorial is good representative example of the interwar Art Deco architectural style and sculpture in Canberra. The strong verticality of the tower, stepped stone skyline, and the use of a stylised high relief figure of Saint George with a realistic bronze figure of King George V.

Attributes
The whole memorial and its statuary.


Criterion (e) Aesthetic Characteristics

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics valued by a community or cultural group.

The memorial exhibits distinct aesthetic Art Deco characteristics which are complemented by the realistic large bronze statue of King George V, the carved figure of Saint George and the individual bronze medallions.

Originally the memorial was designed to be viewed in the round as a monumental structure and an architecturally elegant centrepiece in the land axis. The scale of the original plinth contributed to memorial’s its striking presence in the landscape on the key axial vista between Old Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial.

The memorial meets this criterion, despite its relocated position to the west and its shorter altered structure. The aesthetic value has not recently been tested by a community or cultural group.

Attributes
The whole memorial and its statuary.


Criterion (f) Creative or Technical Characteristics

the place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.

The King George V Memorial demonstrates a high degree of creative and technical achievement at the time of its design in 1936 and throughout its construction, when it was finally unveiled in 1953.

The memorial represents a fine creative work and a successful collaboration where adverse situations were overcame. This included the original designer’s sudden death (Hoff died in 1937), the interruption to the work during World War II and the subsequent finalisation by architect Harry Foskett and sculptor Moorfield, who died in 1945 before the monument was finalised.

The symbolism was well executed in the King George V Memorial including a group of emblematic statuary in bronze. The King is the most prominent of statuary, a large scale bronze statue with ceremonial realism. In contrast is the symbolic stone Saint George, which is a stylised high relief figure with modest detailing.

The completion of the memorial, despite the difficulties faced during its construction, succeeded in meeting the design brief. It represents the main events of Australia’s national life at the time of its inception.



Attributes
The whole memorial and its statuary.

Criterion (g) Social Values

the place has significant heritage value because of the place’s strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

Similar to the Australian War Memorial, King George V, memorial, which honours Australians in the armed forces during the Great War and is therefore likely to be valued by the local Canberra community and visitors to the National Triangle. It demonstrates Australian loyalty to the British crown in the late 1930s through to 1953 when the monument was finalised.

Social value held by the contemporary community or particular groups has not been tested for the memorial. However, there are strong parallels with the social values held by the Canberra community for the Parliament House Vista and Parkes Place including public accessibility and familiarity as part of the day-to-day scenery for everyday lives and special events.

The King George V Memorial, located within Parkes Place and as a component of the Parliament House Vista, meets this criterion.

Attributes
The memorial in the extended setting of Parkes Place and Parliament House Vista.


Criterion (h) Significant People

the place has significant heritage value because of the place's special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Australia's natural or cultural history.

The memorial is significant for its association with the sculptor, Rayner Hoff, and assisting sculptor John Edward Moorfield and architect Harry Foskett. Hoff, the original designer, played an important role in the development of Australian sculpture, with some of his work represented at war memorials in Adelaide and Sydney.

The memorial has a strong association with King George V as Australia's third Head of State, being the major Commonwealth symbol of his service.

The memorial includes a representation displayed in the bronze plaques, of Sir Henry Parkes, who was considered the founding father of Australian Federation; and Sir Edmund Barton, Australia’s first Prime Minister.

Attributes
The whole memorial, as the work of Rayner Hoff, John Edward Moorfield and architect Harry Foskett. References to, and portrayal of, King George V and Sir Henry Parkes for his role in Australian Federation. Associations with Prime Minister Robert Menzies, Minster of the Interior Doug Anthony and key NCDC figures at the NCDC.


Criterion (i)

Indigenous

the place has significant heritage value because of the place’s importance as part of Indigenous tradition.

King George V does not have an association or important place in Indigenous tradition or culture.

The memorial does not meet this criterion.


The King George V Memorial meets the threshold for Commonwealth Heritage value. It meets criteria (a), (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h) and does not meet criteria (b), (c) or (i).


4.4.1 Revised Summary Statement of Significance


King George V Memorial is important in Australia's cultural history. It is a monumental work, which commemorates King George V’s twenty-six year reign and represents the main events of Australia’s national life at the time of its inception. The King was highly regarded by his Australian political subjects, especially for his actions and leadership during World War I and participation in Australia’s Federation. The memorial also commemorates the heroic efforts of Australians in the armed forces and medical support personnel during the Great War.

The symbolism was well executed in the King George V Memorial including a group of emblematic statuary in bronze. The memorial is of aesthetic value and demonstrates a high degree of creative and technical achievement at the time of its design in 1936, it first stage of construction in 1941, and its completion when it was unveiled in 1953 with the bronze statuary in place. Despite the difficulties faced during its construction, the memorial succeeded in meeting the design brief. The memorial is significant for its association with the sculptor, Rayner Hoff, assisting sculptor John Edward Moorfield and architect Harry Foskett. Hoff, the original designer, played an important role in the development of Australian sculpture.

It is a celebration of the Federation of Australia, demonstrated physically and historically through its original siting in front of Old Parliament House and in the land axis. Also, together with Old Parliament House the two monumental structures were landmarks, symbolising the development of Canberra as the National Capital.

The physical connection between the memorial and Old Parliament House remains, but the memorial’s prominence in the land axis, and the Parliament House Vista has been lost since its relocation. Notwithstanding this, it continued to be a historic and symbolic landmark in the central area of Canberra associated with the establishment of the federated Australian nation.

In the memorial’s original place is the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, established in January 1972, a place which is symbolic for political protest actions. Both the memorial and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy demonstrate the shifting political and cultural history of Australia in the Parliament House Vista—they reflect the changing social and political attitudes of Australia’s democracy. They contribute to the place in which Griffin's vision of democracy is negotiated and expressed on the land axis of central Canberra.

King George V Memorial located in Parkes Place, is a contributory component of Parliament House Vista and its setting—it reflects the changed ideologies expressed in the cultural landscape of the vista. Parliament House Vista is physically and symbolically part of a sequence of aligned, open spaces, within a monumental axial vista from Old Parliament House to the Australian War Memorial and Mount Ainslie behind; as well as back the other way, from the Australian War Memorial, to Old Parliament House and the Australian Parliament House on Capital Hill behind.


4.5 Condition of the Heritage Values at King George V Memorial


The EPBC Act Regulations Schedule 7A requires that the management of heritage values includes assessing and monitoring the ‘condition of the heritage values’. ‘Condition’ has generally been understood to mean the condition of the physical fabric of a heritage place; however, the EPBC Act Regulations are based on protecting, conserving and managing values which extend beyond the physical fabric of a place.

The heritage values of the King George V Memorial are in good condition. The wholeness and the intactness of its elements maintain a high level of integrity; however, the relocation of the memorial from its original site has impacted the authenticity of the original design intent—designed to be viewed in the round and to be a monumental structure in front of Old Parliament House on the land axis. The condition of the elements, including its form and fabric/materials are set in the following table.


Table 4.3 Condition of King George V Memorial—the whole structure, form, function, location and setting.

King George V Memorial Elements

Summary Condition

King George V Memorial—the whole memorial (the structure).

Good

Form—the stepped and tapered architectural arrangement has a central (hollow) pylon that is a composite of sandstone (outside) and brick (inside) on a concrete footing. It includes bronze sculptural elements—refer to the condition listed below under ‘fabric’.

Fair

Function—commemoration to King George V, Australian Federation and the Armed Forces for their efforts during WWI.

Good

Location—the management area of King George V Memorial.

Good

Setting—King George V Memorial is a component of Parkes Place and the Parliament House Vista. It includes the close physical proximity and visual connection between the memorial and Old Parliament House.

Good

Table 4.4 Condition of the fabric of King George V Memorial—refer also to the detailed condition assessment in Volume 2.

King George V Memorial Elements

Summary Condition

Fabric—the materials of the whole memorial.

Fair (refer to individual elements of the fabric below)

Original fabric (1940s and 1950s)

Sandstone from the Sydney region.

Poor

Mortar—only pointing in mason’s putty of ‘fake’ joints remains.

Fair

Carved figure of Saint George on horseback—sandstone as above.

Fair

Lettering in sandstone—on the pylon and pedestal.

Fair (due to condition of stone)

Bronze elements:

Sculpture of King George

10 individual circular plaques

Saint George’s Lance



Good

Introduced fabric (from 1968 relocation and later)

Interior brickwork—common red brick within a cement: sand mortar.

Good (despite brick growth)

Granite steps and paving of platform which replaced the original platform in the 1968 relocation (some original granite was re-used).

Poor (due to skateboarding wax)

Paving—granite introduced in 1968.

Good

Mortar—1996 repointing in lime: sand mortar.

Poor (much has failed)

New access tunnel and internal infrastructure, 1996—including platforms and ladders in pylon, ventilation ducting and fan, electrical system.

Fair. The access hatch was broken at the time of the site visit. Leaf litter and mud covers floor. Internal lighting did not work.

Internal sacrificial plaster, 1996—lime: sand plaster.

Poor (badly decayed by damp)

Anti-skateboard guards—inserted in joints in platform in 1996.

Poor (all removed)

Roof—copper cladding over concrete, 1996 copper-clad hinged hatch.

Good

Trees

Two Lombardy poplars—replanted on either side of the memorial in 1995. The trees do not add to the heritage values of the memorial; however, the trees continue a historical line of poplars in the Parliamentary Zone. The trees detract from the ability of a visitor to appreciate the monument in the round.

Good. Healthy trees although they are in need of pruning as suckers are emerging in the garden beds.



4.6 Ranking of Significance and Tolerance for Change

4.6.1 Explanation of Heritage Significance Ranking


Table 4.5 Explanation of Heritage Significance Ranking.

Ranking

Explanation of the Heritage Significance Ranking/Grade

Exceptional

A rare or outstanding place that significantly embodies and demonstrates Commonwealth Heritage value in its own right and makes a direct and irreplaceable contribution to a place’s significance/value.

Generally these elements include a high degree of original fabric or attributes with heritage values and includes non-tangible components such as views and functional relationships which directly contribute to their outstanding/exceptional values. These may include some alterations which are of a minor nature and do not detract from significance. Loss or alteration would significantly diminish the Commonwealth (or other) Heritage values of the place.



High

A place that demonstrates Commonwealth Heritage value in its own right and makes a significant contribution to the place’s heritage value. Existing alterations do not detract from its heritage values. Loss or unsympathetic alteration would diminish the Commonwealth Heritage value of the place.

Moderate

A place that reflects some Commonwealth (or other local) Heritage values but only contributes to the overall significance/values of the place in a moderate way. Loss or unsympathetic alteration is likely to diminish the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place.

Low

A place that reflects some (or a low level of) Commonwealth Heritage values and only contributes to the overall significance/values of the place. Loss will not diminish the Commonwealth or local Heritage values of the place.

Neutral

A place that does not reflect or demonstrate any Commonwealth or local Heritage values nor detracts from the overall heritage values of the place. Does not fulfil criteria for heritage listing.

Intrusive

Damaging to the place’s heritage values. Loss may contribute to the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place. Does not fulfil criteria for heritage listing.


4.6.2 Explanation of Tolerance for Change


Tolerance for change is a way to better understand significance by identifying what attributes of a place are sensitive to change. This in turn assists in formulating policy which effectively conserves heritage values.

Table 4.6 Explanation of Tolerance for Change.

Tolerance

Recommendation

Nil to low tolerance for change

The key attributes (form, fabric, function, location, intangible values) embody the heritage significance of the element and/or its contribution to the significance of the place. The element retains a high degree of integrity and authenticity with only very minor alterations that do not detract from its significance.

The key attribute should be retained and conserved, providing there is no adverse impact on its significance.

Some tolerance for change

The key attributes (form, fabric, function, location or intangible values) embody the heritage significance of the element and/or its contribution to the place. It has undergone some alteration which does not detract from its authenticity and significance.

The key attributes of the element should be retained and conserved. It may be changed to a small degree, providing there is no or minimal adverse impact on its significance.

Moderate tolerance for change

The key attributes (form, fabric, function, location or intangible values) partly embody the heritage significance of the element and/or its contribution to the place, or has been considerably modified.

The key attributes of the element should be generally retained and conserved. Moderate change to this attribute is possible provided there are nil, or minimal adverse impacts, or the significance of the element or the place overall is retained.

Substantial tolerance for change

The key attributes (form, fabric, function, location or intangible values) of the element have relatively little heritage significance, but may contribute to the overall significance of the place.

Substantial change to this element may be possible, avoiding adverse impacts and retaining the significance of the place overall.

High tolerance for change

The key attributes of the element (form, fabric, function, location or intangible values) have negligible heritage significance to the place.

There is a high tolerance for change to this element, avoiding adverse impacts and retaining the significance of the place overall.


4.6.3 Application of Heritage Significance Ranking and Tolerance for Change


The purpose of understanding the significance of the various elements is to enable a flexible approach to the management of the structure. The whole structure and individual elements of King George V Memorial have their rankings outlined in Table 4.8 below.

Table 4.7 Tolerance for Change applied to King George V Memorial and its elements—the whole structure, form, function, location setting and fabric.

Elements of King George V Memorial

Heritage Significance Ranking

Application of Tolerance for Change

King George V Memorial—the whole memorial (the structure).

High

Low tolerance for change

Form—the stepped and tapered architectural arrangement, with a central (hollow) pylon that is a composite of sandstone (outside) and brick (inside) on a concrete footing. It includes bronze sculptural elements.

High

Low tolerance for change

Function—commemoration to King George V, Australian Federation and the Armed Forces for their efforts during WWI.

High

Low tolerance for change

Location—the management area of King George V Memorial, which is a component of the setting.

Moderate

Moderate tolerance for change

Setting— King George V Memorial is a component of Parkes Place and the Parliament House Vista. It includes the close physical proximity and visual connection between the memorial and Old Parliament House.

Exceptional

Low tolerance for change

Original Fabric (1940s and 1950s)—sandstone from Sydney region, Saint George figure, bronze elements (King George V, 10 bronze plaques and lance).

High

Low tolerance for change

Introduced Fabric (1968)—interior brickwork granite steps and paving of platform.

Moderate

Moderate tolerance for change

Introduced Fabric (1996 and later)—new access tunnel and internal infrastructure, internal repointing mortar, internal sacrificial mortar, anti-skateboarding guards and roof.

Neutral

Substantial change can be tolerated.

Trees—Lombardy Poplars planted either side of the memorial in 1995 impede the ability to fully appreciate the memorial. In contrast, the trees contribute to the Parliamentary Zone and Parliament House Vista, rather than the memorial and are likely to have high heritage significance. The conflict associated with the potential impacts on the heritage values is discussed in Section 5.0.



High tolerance for change when considering the potential for impacting the heritage values of the memorial.

Low tolerance for change when considering the impact on the heritage values of the Parliamentary Zone.





1 Parkes Place & National Rose Gardens HMP, prepared by Duncan Marshall for the NCA, p 78.

King George V Memorial—Heritage Management Plan (May 2014)



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