you’re reading...


Barr must now restore ‘stolen’ plaque and memorial

Education Minister, Andrew Barr must now return the John Flynn Memorial plaque and restore the entire Memorial promptly or open himself to possible criminal prosecution following revelations in the Canberra Times today that the memorial is a Commonwealth asset.

“Andrew Barr, or his Department, may be in possession of stolen property, if indeed the memorial is part of the National Capital Authority’s assets register as indicated in a Canberra Times quote attributed to NCA’s estate director, John Fletcher,” according to Flynn Primary Parents and Citizens Association President Roger Nicoll.

“Clearly, this is not a piece of school memorabilia and it is unacceptable to the Flynn community that the ACT Government hold the plaque in storage until the consultation over future use of the school sites,” Mr Nicoll said.

The plaque is one part of a registered Canberra National Memorial commemorating the birth in 1880 of the Right Reverend John Flynn – founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Australian Inland Mission. Reverend Flynn is revered as a hero of the outback and the man after whom the Flynn suburb and schools were named.

The Flynn community also strongly refutes claims, attributed to Andrew Barr’s spokeswoman, that there was evidence of tampering with the plaque prior to the Government’s intervention, Mr Nicoll said.

“The Flynn Parent Patrol and other residents, monitor the school site on a daily basis and confirm the plaque had not been vandalised recently or even in the past 27 years, until this Government-sanctioned vandalism. Now we really want to know that the plaque has not been damaged during its removal.”

“The Flynn community is ready to forgive Andrew Barr as we realise this could be an honest mistake rather than deliberate theft or vandalism. “

“Nevertheless, we would appreciate an apology and for the plaque to be returned, the Flynn engraved name and the entire memorial to be restored to the National Capital Authority’s satisfaction, by June 6 2007.”

“We trust that Andrew Barr will do this as a measure of good faith to our community.”

Images from Flynn

Angles on the textured concrete walls


Flynn grounds

Landscape setting & grounds

Enrico Taglietti visting the school he designed

History and design

Memorial to John Flynn

Memorial to John Flynn