Scrap metal destined for landfill transformed into Anzac poppies by Bunbury Regional Prison inmates

Oliver LaneBunbury Herald
Each memorial takes about 400 poppies to complete.
Camera IconEach memorial takes about 400 poppies to complete. Credit: Supplied

Old scrap metal has been transformed into colourful metal poppies to mark Anzac Day thanks to a project by the Bunbury Regional Prison.

The work has been completed in the prison’s workshop by prisoners and will go towards Anzac memorials in the State’s prisons.

Up to 400kg of scrap metal has been saved from landfill so far, according to the Department of Justice, with each memorial using 400 poppies.

The poppies are first cut out from the scrap metal and then spray painted either red or purple.

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The purple flowers represent animals such as dogs and horses who were lost in battle.

Vocational skills officer Don said prisoners had taken to the work over the last two years of the project.

“It is labour intensive work; each poppy takes an hour to make from start to finish. In the process the prisoners learn skills like plasma cutting, welding, painting, and design,” he said.

“Many of them are military veterans themselves and they take great pride in their work, knowing it benefits everybody in the prison.”

The Department of Justice has identified about 150 prisoners who are veterans from a variety of services and countries.

Department of Justice manager of veteran services Fiona said the memorials were an important project for many prisoners.

“A memorial which is accessible to both prisoners and staff gives them a place where they can reflect quietly, particularly on occasions like Anzac Day or Remembrance Day. These commemorations can trigger traumatic memories,” she said.

“Also, having prisoner veterans involved in the creation and design of the poppies and memorials adds extra value and connection to the project.”

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