History of CHARTS
History of Childers Arts Space (CHARTS) & The Palace Backpacker Memorial Wall
The Palace Hotel was originally built in 1890. In 1902 a devastating fire destroyed all but one building along the side of Churchill Street where the Hotel was located. In 1902/3 the building was once again constructed. In 1991 the Palace Backpacker Hostel was born. With 20 bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs, the Hostel could accommodate almost 90 guests.
On 23 June 2000 after the devastating fire that month that destroyed the Hotel, the building was then donated to Bundaberg Regional Council, now home to the Backpacker Memorial, Childers Arts Space, a visitor’s centre and a private business space.
The Memorial was installed in the upstairs area which formerly housed ten bedrooms. It contains the glass mural and the memorial portrait.
The glass mural was designed by Sam Di Mauro. The mural contains 15 ‘memory boxes’, each one dedicated to each of the victims containing their name, flag of country and photos contributed by their grieving families.
The Memorial Portrait, Taking a Break in the Field, was created by Josonia Palaitis, and depicts the backpackers who were drawn to Childers for farm work. Completed in just five months using photographs, the artist, in consultation with families was able to capture their personalities, reflected beautifully in the painting.