National Site of Recognition for thalidomide survivors and their families - words of significance

Closed 8 Mar 2023

Opened 2 Mar 2023


The Department of Health and Aged Care and the National Capital Authority, in collaboration with a Steering Committee, is progressing work to establish a National Site of Recognition for thalidomide survivors and their families.

The Site of Recognition will be located at Kings Park in Canberra. It will recognise the pain and suffering experienced by thalidomide survivors, as well as the impact on their loved ones.

Site of Recognition Design

Based on the Design Aspects Survey that was undertaken with thalidomide survivors in February 2022, a preferred design was identified.

The preferred design features a glass brick ‘gateway’ structure, providing access to a seating area for reflection. The design features words etched into the glass bricks to help convey the significance and impact of the tragedy, in addition to a ground-based timeline of the history of thalidomide in Australia.

The purpose of this survey is to seek your views concerning the words of significance to be etched into the glass bricks.


The Department understands that completing this survey may cause you to experience distressing thoughts and memories. You are encouraged to discuss these feelings and any support you may require with your General Practitioner or other health care practitioner. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need urgent support you can contact Lifeline, a 24-hour confidential crisis counselling support centre, by calling 13 11 14. You can also contact Lifeline by sending a text message to 0477 13 11 14 between 12pm and midnight (AEST). For further information, please do not hesitate to visit Lifeline at


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