Settlement Art Project

Settlement Art AppealSettlement Art AppealIn 2009 the then Shire of Busselton celebrated the 175th Anniversary of European settlement in the region of Vasse by inviting 150 descendants of the first four pioneer families to attend an afternoon tea and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. The enthusiasm of the community provided the impetus for the Council to propose a broader and more inclusive commemoration of the region’s settlement for the new Queen Street cultural precinct in Busselton town centre – the location for many of the City’s heritage buildings.

The Council appointed the Busselton Settlement Art Project Steering Group to undertake community consultation, develop the Artists’ Brief and conduct a selection process that has resulted in the appointment of well-known Fremantle sculptor, Greg James.

Greg has now completed scale models in bronze of the, eventually life size, figurative sculptures of individuals selected to illustrate Busselton’s history as an early and successful regional WA settlement. These are on display at the ArtGeo gallery in the Queen Street cultural precinct.

The City has unveiled the first life sized sculpture, "The Whalers Wife," in March 2014, with a speech by former resident, Tim Blue, and unveiled by Aboriginal descendant Mrs Ellen Hill and Committee Chair, David Reid.

The Timber Worker was unveiled in September 2014 with a speech by Chip Yelverton, descendant of well known timber industry identity Henry Yelverton and unveiled by Yelverton family members. The Hon. Barry House MLC was the MC and also provided some history of his family’s involvement in the early timber industry.

The City is especially pleased to have received the support of the National Trust of Australia (WA) who have agreed to auspice the Busselton Settlement Appeal Fund and provide a tax deductible vehicle for community contributions.

Two fundraising events have been held with guest speakers including Dianne Laurance of Laurance Wines and Janet Holmes a Court of Vasse Felix.

This historic project effectively captures the very essence of Busselton’s challenging early history. The community is proud that the settler’s efforts created the basis for one of the Colony’s most successful early settlements outside Perth.