Fiona Vickery and her children, Jay, left and Skye, visit the memorial site.

Fiona Vickery and her children, Jay, left and Skye, visit the memorial site. Photo: Graham Tidy

SKYE VICKERY turned 17 on Tuesday, without her father by her side. Five days later, she will attend Sunday's opening of the National Workers Memorial to honour people like her father Wayne who lost their life at work.

Mr Vickery, 45, of Yass, was killed by a grader on a West Macgregor building site in December 2011.

His wife, Fiona, and children, Skye and Jay, 14, remember him as a big man with a big heart.

''He was six foot four and 99 kilos and he was a golfer and into the football and into the gym,'' Mrs Vickery said.

''We've got pictures of him up all around the home. His hat and his sunnies and all sorts of stuff around the place. He'll never really be forgotten.

''He was a mate, a friend. He looked after everybody.''

Jay helped turn the sod on the memorial. The whole family supports the project and the campaign to prevent workplace deaths.

''It's more for the construction industry, I think it means a lot to them, all over the place,'' Mrs Vickery said.

''So many people I've met since say this is a good thing and it needs to be in the open.

''The more we talk about it or the more it's in the news, the better, so they don't get complacent or whatever.''

Skye, who remembers her dad as ''passionate'' and ''funny'', said: ''It's good that they've done this. They haven't forgotten, they've done something to remember everyone by.''

Jay wants to follow in his father's footsteps and work in construction. He think it's a good job. ''I don't want to end up a bum,'' he said.

He has his mother's support.

''I just think they need to look out for each other [in the construction industry], which I think they do anyway. It was just an accident,'' she said.

The family was thrilled to learn the slender stone columns that are the feature of the memorial were crafted by stonemasons from Tumut, Wayne's home town.

''He would have known the people who worked on it,'' Mrs Vickery said. MEGAN DOHERTY