Mataranka's 'We of the Never Never' statues unveiled on May 16

Mataranka's 'We of the Never Never' statues unveiled on May 16

The new 'We of the Never Never' statues have been unveiled in Stan Martin Park as part of the Never Never Festival in Mataranka on Sunday, May 16.

The six statues depict the various characters of Jeanie Gunn's book 'We of the Never Never' that was made into a movie in the 1980s.

The previous statues, which were regularly visited by tourists, had many cracks and parts of the statues were falling away or faded from the harsh Northern Territory conditions.

After an extensive consultation process with the Mataranka Local Authority, it was requested these statues be replaced to reflect the significance of the town's history and the quality of life in Mataranka.

The project was funded by the Mataranka Local Authority and Roper Gulf Regional Council, who awarded the contract to construct the new statues to Gillie and Marc from Sydney NSW.

The Never Never Festival took place from Friday, May 14 to Sunday, May 16 in the town of Mataranka and is an event that embraces the diversity of the Never Never and celebrates Jeanie Gunn's famous 1908 novel, which was responsible for putting Mataranka on the international stage.

Mayor Judy MacFarlane officially unveiled the new bronze statues in Stan Martin Park alongside special guests, Florence Peters and Sabina Willy.

Florence Peters is the daughter of Dolly Bonson who, as Bett Bett, featured in the novel 'We of the Never Never' and who's character is one of the statues in Stan Martin Park.

The second special guest was Sabina Willy, the actor who played the character of Bett Bett in the 'We of the Never Never' movie, released in 1982.

"The Mataranka Community and Council staff were very excited about the completion of this long standing project," Mayor MacFarlane said.

"This is a special event made even more special by having two significant people involved in the 'We of the Never Never' story such as Florence and Sabina attend."

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