The Australian Farmer, Wudinna

#782 of 1,555 in Things to do in South Australia
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Australian Farmer is a statue located in Wudinna, South Australia. Regarded as one of Australia's Big Things, the granite sculpture stands at 8m in height, and weighs in the vicinity of 70 tonnes. It took 17 years to produce from initial proposal to the final unveiling in 2009, and two years for the artist, Marijan Bekic, to carve. The stylised work of a farmer represents the early settlers of the region, with carvings symbolising grain and sheep found within the sculpture.
The former District Council of Le Hunte first proposed the idea of a community project in 1992, and the focus quickly moved to the construction of a memorial to the early settlers of the region. Given that the area is well known for its granite, it was decided that the project should incorporate the material, and a request for tender was announced in 1999. Croatian-born artist Marijan Bekic responded to the advertisement, producing a scale model of his concept, and this was shown to the local community.
With the community's support of the concept in hand, the council sought a grant to fund the project. Although this was not forthcoming, land was donated by the Wudinna & Districts Telecentre, various companies provided sponsorship, and local residents offered food and accommodation for the artist. The result was that the project commenced in 2007, with a projected construction time of twelve months.
The project ended up taking the artist and his son two years to complete, and it was unveiled on 17 April 2009. The unveiling was preceded by a number of local events, including a live radio broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Peter Goers. The official launch was attended by over 1000 people, with Federal and State politicians Rowan Ramsey and Liz Penfold making an appearance.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
22 reviews
  • At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it but the more I stayed and watched, I could see the intricacies in making this and also the symbolism. What a fantastic tribute to the farmers and a huge...  more »
  • Being granite it's going to be around until aliens visit. Fitting tribute. Shame about the painted names and story already suffering from the elements.  more »
  • interesting historical information and wonderful artistic qualities. You can walk around it and learn how farming in South Australia works
  • Great art work and history of the town .
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