Stella Young statue unveiled in Stawell

A statue honouring comedian, journalist and disability advocate Stella Young has been unveiled, the first of six artworks funded through the Victorian Government’s $1 million Women’s Public Art Program.
30 March 2023
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Set in her home town of Stawell, Remembering Stella Young is a life size bronze statue that aims to continue Stella’s legacy to educate and challenge the community on its perception of disability, and to strive for “a world where disability is not the exception, but the norm”.

The piece was brought to life in the Northern Grampians by a collective of four artists with lived experience of disability. Artists Sarah Barton, Fayen D’Evie, Jillian Pearce and Janice Florence, together with local sculptor Danny Fraser, worked in close collaboration with Stella’s parents Lynne and Greg Young, consulting on everything from the design, the site and interactive elements.

Accessibility and inclusivity were at the heart of its design - the statue sits on a circular slab at ground level and includes interactive elements such as motion-activated sensors that give audio descriptions of the statue, a braille plaque and QR codes that enable visitors to access online videos and auditory components.   

Remembering Stella Young is part of the Victorian Government’s $1 million program to address the historic underrepresentation of women as both artists and artworks, and is the first of six works to be unveiled. Before this program began only nine of the 580 statues across Melbourne depicted real women.

The program helps lift the visibility of women’s achievements and place them on the public record as well as celebrates and supports women artists, the arts and creative sectors more broadly. Artistic projects like these have been found to make a great contribution to local employment, community wellbeing and vitality, tourism and economic development.

The pieces – to be located in Linton, Drouin, Mildura and Melbourne as well as Stawell - are statues, sculptures and installations that tell stories of women’s experiences and achievements.

Creating a permanent record of the excellence and leadership of Victorian women shows future generations of women and girls what is possible – you can’t be what you can’t see.

Read more about the Victorian Women's Public Art Program.