Pioneers honoured

Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times

The final piece in the City of Busselton’s Settlement Art Project will be unveiled this Saturday.

The life-sized bronze sculpture, Pioneer Woman, is the sixth work from WA sculptor Greg James and completes the series, which creates a trail through the CBD’s cultural precinct.

Pioneer Woman joins sculptures Whaler’s Wife, Timber Worker, John Garrett Bussell, Spanish Settler and Gaywal. Pioneer Woman will be placed outside the Weld Theatre.

The statue’s unveiling marks the end of the 10-year project, which celebrates the pioneers and traditional owners of the land who settled the Vasse region.

The sculpture of the Pioneer Woman acknowledges the integral but understated role women played in settlement and the hardships they faced.

Busselton Settlement Art Project Steering Committee member Jacquie Happ said it was a great sense of achievement to see the final piece of the collection come to life.

She said what was particularly heartening about the project was the community’s pride and ownership of the art installation.

More than 30 per cent of the Busselton Settlement Art Project was funded by donations from residents. “Busselton is one of the oldest townships in WA and was settled by people who came here and purchased the land rather than being told where to settle by the colony,” Ms Happ said.

“This art project captures the strength of the pioneers and the community at the time, and I don’t think that strength, and the community values, have changed since settlement.”

The unveiling of The Pioneer Woman will take place at 10am on the corner of Queen Street and Adelaide Street.

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