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Alison Hartman Gardens

Alison Hartman Garden, often referred to as Mokare Park, is a park on York Street in Albany in the Great Southern region of Western Australia.  The Alison Hartman Gardens are part of the greening of Albany Town Centre. The gardens supply a place of rest amongst the busy movement of the commercial and retail areas of York Street. The park is home to a number of public art sculptures.

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The park, located near the centre of Albany, contains numerous sculptures including the statue of Mokare. (The Statue of Mokare, at the front of the gardens, is dedicated to the aboriginal man who helped early settlers maintain a peaceful coexistence with the local Noongar people. This was erected in 1997 as part of a reconciliation project by the Albany community. Mokare (c. 1800 - 26 June 1831) was a Noongar man, an Aboriginal man from the south-west corner of Australia who was pivotal in aiding European exploration of the area. Mokare had two known brothers: Mollian (d. 1829), who may have been known as Yallapoli, and Nakina, who with Mokare, was a frequent visitor to the Albany settlement, staying with the government resident, Dr Alexander Collie. He also was recorded as having a married sister.)

The area is situated adjacent to the Albany Public Library and the Albany Town Square. It often hosts local markets. The area was once the vegetable gardens behind the old state school, which is now the Albany District Education Centre. The gardens are named after a long-serving teacher at Albany State School, Alison Edith Hartman (1906-1978).She was the daughter of John Hartman, who built Albany War Memorial, and she was the Principal of Albany Primary School from 1935 to 1967.

The gardens contain two large Norfolk Island Pine trees and a Quereus Robur tree that date back to the 1890s along the southern edge. The pines are decorated every Christmas season. The statue of Mokare was erected in 1977 as a memorial to the Noongar man who helped he early settlers maintain a peaceful coexistence with the traditional owners. A series of community sculptures were set around a granite outcrop in the gardens in 1989. These include large, century-old timbers are from the original own Jetty that symbolise Jetty, ships loading cranes and other agricultural machinery to acknowledge the importance of shipping and agriculture in the early development of the town. An old tractor seat and other pieces of old agricultural machinery symbolise the agricultural history of our region. The sculptural installation is not meant to be decorative. It is meant to say something about our history, about the way we feel about our history. It is a "sensory " piece. People are asked to feel it, walk around it and look at it, listen to it. Above all, to think about the years that have gone into making this area what it is now .

A Peace Pole at the rear of the gardens was erected in 2011 as part of the Harmony Day celebrations. It features the message "May Peace prevail on Earth" in six languages.

 

Source:  Wikipedia