As far as Christmas decorations go, this one is a far cry from tradition. But it also comes with an important message this festive season.
While most people decorate their tree with glittery baubles, tinsel, lights and top it off with a golden star, this two-storey high monster at the front of the WA Museum of the Goldfields features hoards of hard hats.
The 6m high structure is being mooted as a world-first and a record attempt to rival a thong “Christmas tree” erected in a Darwin shopping centre last year.
Riklan Emergency Management Services owner and mine safety expert Mick Nollas said the two-storey high tree symbolised the importance of safety in the mining industry. It is located just metres from a public memorial containing the names of 1500 miners who have died on the job.
“It’s something we want to embrace and bring into the community itself,” Mr Nollas said.
“Every day in our country there are young children that see their mums and dads go off to work, and they don’t fully understand the importance of safety in the workplace.
“This concept is a different approach to educating our younger generation on the importance of safety in ways they can easily grasp.
“It’s an amazing concept and it’s going to be bigger and better every year.”
A number of mine sites and businesses around Kalgoorlie-Boulder supplied used and new hard hats for the scaffold tree.
“This is the inaugural year for it, but in the coming years this is going to be a concept that will grow and I think it’s going to be something that will be dear to all our hearts,” Mr Nollas said.
Museum education officer Peta Osborne said the tree complemented the miners memorial.
“It’s a reminder of how much better things are getting safety-wise in the mining industry,” she said.
“So many people died in the early 1900s but in the last two years there’s been zero fatalities because safety regulations and training are better.”
The project was organised by the Eastern Goldfields Miners Memorial, local freemasons and businesses.