Heath Ledger Memorial – Applecross, Australia - Atlas Obscura

Heath Ledger Memorial

Applecross, Australia

This poignant site pays tribute to one of Australia’s greatest actors.  


Situated in the Perth suburb of Applecross is this memorial that commemorates the life of the Australian actor Heath Ledger. Ledger was born in Perth on April 4, 1979, and later went on to star in many award-winning films including Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight. He tragically died of a drug overdose in January 2008 at the age of only 28. 

The site for the sculpture was chosen by Ledger’s mother, Sally Bell, due to him spending large parts of his childhood in the Applecross area and enjoying time in the Heathcote Reserve, a small park where the memorial is found.

The memorial was designed by Slovenian/Australian artist Ron Gomboc and was unveiled to the public in February 2009. It depicts a chess board alongside the yin and yang symbol and is said to represent the actor’s passion for chess while paying tribute to his spiritual beliefs. 

The plaque at the site has the following words which offer a moving tribute:

“Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

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