Strathfield Council received a submission (containing a petition) on 25 March 2014 in support of a proposal from the Korean Committee of United Austral Korean-Chinese Alliance. The proposal requested Council’s support for the erection of a Comfort Woman Statue in Strathfield:
“To erect a ‘3 girls’ statue consisted of Korean, Chinese and Australian to commemorate the war sex victims of World War II in the Strathfield Square or a public place of Strathfield Council precinct where many of the descendants of Korea and China are residents.”
Many members of the Japanese community, however, contacted Strathfield Council protesting the statue, saying it would be divisive.
Over the past year, Strathfield Council has heard from numerous people for and against the proposal. With this in mind and after extensive community consultation, it was decided at an Extraordinary Council meeting last night (11 August 2015), to take no further actions concerning the proposal as it does not meet the criteria of Councils Memorial Policy.
This decision was not taken lightly. Strathfield Councils Memorial Policy is aimed at building harmony in the community by not supporting requests that are deemed to be offensive to any community groups. This proposal in itself has divided the community.
Strathfield prides itself in being a multicultural community bringing people from around the world together in peace and harmony. Through mutual respect and understanding, it is Strathfield’s hope that this potentially divisive issue can be turned into an opportunity to engage with each other in a positive way moving forward. If a jointly agreed-upon proposal for a statue is put forward in the future, Strathfield Council will consider the application at that time.