Keeping the Flame Alight sculpture

Keeping the Flame Alight sculpture, Burswood Park, Perth

Public Art : Keeping The Flame Alight sculpture

Sculptors: © Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith

Description: The bronze sculpture depicts two of Western Australia's (and Australia's) sporting greats, Herb Elliott and Shirley Strickland. The athletes, both facing each other with left knees up, are clutching the Olympic torch and holding it high up to the heavens. The sculpture also depicts the ceremonial event prior to the Sydney Olympics, which saw a replica of the Olympic Flame being relayed from person to person and athlete to athlete around the States and communities of Australia.

Date Unveiled: Keeping The Flame Alight sculpture was unveiled on 22nd April, 2001.

Location : Burswood Park, Burswood, Perth, Western Australia.

Inscription :


This sculpture was commissioned by the Town of Victoria Park an the Burswood Park Board to celebrate the passage of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay through the town of Victoria Park on Saturday 8th July 2000, and unveiled on 22nd April 2001.

A Community Cauldron was lit from the Olympic torch at a community based event staged in Burswood Park where residents were encouraged to share in the spirits of the Games.

This sculpture features two of Western Australia's finest athletes, Shirley Strickland and Herb Elliot and symbolically depicts the key element in the passage of the Olympic Flame through the community, the transference of the flame from
person to person.

The drama of this unique moment is captured as their hands merge to grasp the symbolic Flame which is a replica of the Sydney 2000 Torch design.

The sculpture also serves as an ongoing celebration of the finest sporting ideals demonstrated by Olympians and Paralympians from Western Australia.

Shirley Strickland AO MBE

Olympic Games

1948 London     100m                 Bronze
                        80m Hurdles      Bronze
                        4x 100m Relay   Silver
1952 Helsinki     80m Hurdles      Gold
                       100m                 Bronze
1956 Melbourne  80m Hurdles      Gold
                        4x 100m Relay    Gold
British Empire Games

1950 Auckland   100yd Silver
                         220 yd Silver
                         80m hurdles Gold
                         3x 110/220yd Gold
                         4x 110/220yd Gold

Herb Elliot MBE

Olympic Games

1960 Rome         1500m Gold

British Empire and Commonwealth Games

1958 Cardiff         Mile    Gold
                          880yd Gold

World Records:

Mile (Junior) 4min 03:08sec 1957 Australia
Mile (Junior) 4min 04.4sec 1957 Australia
2 Miles (Junior) 9min 01 sec 1957 Australia
3 Miles (Junior) 14min 02.4 sec 1957 Australia
Mile (open) 3min 54.6 sec 1958 Ireland

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