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8 Sep 2021

A special memorial tree

A tree and plaque in the Yurong precinct of the Domain commemorates the 10 Australian victims who died in the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. 

The plaque was unveiled on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, and this year, was restored for the 20th anniversary. It lists the names of the Australian victims, and dedicates a magnificent, nineteenth century Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) to their memory, and the memory of all victims of these attacks. It reads:

This tree is dedicated to the memory of the Australian victims and all others who perished
in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Kevin Dennis
Alberto Dominguez
Elisa Giselle Ferraina
Andrew James Knox
Craig Gibson
Peter Mark Gyulavary
Yvonne E. Kennedy
Lesley Anne Thomas
Stephen Kevin Tompsett
Leanne Marie Whiteside

We will never forget September 2011

Ken Allen AO, Chair Emeritus, Advance, was the Australian Consul-General in New York City on 11 September, 2001. To mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary in 2011, Ken Allen and Niels Marquardt, the US Consul-General in Sydney, approached the Garden with the proposal to create a site of commemoration. Following a multi-religious service in St Mary’s Cathedral on 11 September 2011, family members of the victims, and dignitaries walked through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to the Yurong Gates. The dedication of the tree and plaque took place in a quiet ceremony that included the families of the victims, Ken and his wife Jill, Mr Marquardt, and the Garden’s Chief Executive at the time, Dr David Mabberley.

The 9/11 memorial tree in the Domain
The plaque located in the Yurong precinct of the Domain

“On the saddest of days,
on that 11th Day in September 2001,
on a day when the forces of evil attacked all that is good in the world, people from all,
around the world joined together to grieve those who died in the Twin Towers in New York City,
and to hold out their hands in unity,
that Day united the world for a moment.

We should always remember the 10 Australians, the many first responders, and the innocent
others from all around the world of all races and faiths who died or were injured that Day. 
The Memorial Plaque and the tree behind placed in The Domain was dedicated to the memory of the 10 Australians who died on that Day. 

A peaceful reminder of this day of terror
on the 20th anniversary of this event we remember those who died so innocently,
Lest we Forget.“ 

Ken Allen AO
Chair Emeritus

The site of this dedication has magnificent views of Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House, and is also adjacent to a plaque unveiled in November 2001 by the then Premier of NSW, the Honourable Bob Carr MP, titled “Unity in Adversity – A call for harmony and understanding in troubled times”. This was an affirmation by the NSW Parliament and Consular Corps in NSW in response to the terrorist attacks of September that year.

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Domain is a peaceful and welcoming space, and we invite you to reflect on the significance of this memorial on your next visit.

Tags: history
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