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Flynn gives Barr seven days to restore Memorial

The Flynn community is giving Education Minister Andrew Barr seven days to return the plaque and restore the integrity of the John Flynn Memorial.

“The Flynn community is outraged to hear that the plaque is now a trophy of the Education Minister after being removed from the approved Memorial in recent weeks,” according to Roger Nicoll, President of Flynn P&C Association.

“In removing the plaque and concreting and painting over the Memorial this week, the Government has removed not just the name of the school, not just the name of the suburb but the name of the Right Reverend John Flynn – founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.”

“All Australians have every reason for dismay at how callously the legacy of John Flynn – Flynn of the Inland – appears to have been treated.”

John Flynn is a hero of the outback, indeed of Australia, having also founded the Australian Inland Mission. ‘He brought gladness and rejoicing to the wilderness and the solitary places’, the plaque says.

“Local residents were incensed to hear that Andrew Barr says he will consult with the community about alternative locations for the plaque because the community knows it was part of a dedicated and purpose built Memorial at an approved location outside the school,” he said.

This is an independent Memorial that is celebrated by the entire community. From the moment that Flynn became a suburb there was interest in the Reverend John Flynn. The Flynn community spent two years researching and contacting people from the Australian Inland Mission in the lead-up to the 1980 centenary of John Flynn’s birth. This was a big event at the time. “Neither Andrew Barr nor any ACT Government department has the right to destroy the integrity of this memorial without genuinely consulting the appropriate authorities and the community.”

Mr Barr no longer has jurisdiction after handing the school and community site over to the Department of Territory and Municipal Services when he closed Flynn Primary School in December last year.

“We are willing to believe that this is an honest mistake and not intentional theft or desecration of an important Canberra site. Nevertheless, we want to know that the plaque has not been damaged or lost, and we will be pursuing the matter further if the memorial plaque, Flynn name marker and the integrity of the entire memorial are not restored.”

“We are surprised to learn that Mr Barr may still be desecrating the Flynn site while there is legal action underway, by Flynn Primary P&C, challenging the decision to close the school.

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