St Andrew`s Bushfire MemorialPrint Page Print this page

The memorial is composed of a large metal ring engraved with words of remembrance and acknowledgement, surrounded by 14 large rocks commemorating the 14 lives lost in St Andrews during the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. The metal ring is engraved with prose by Elizabeth Savage Kooroonya.

The 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria were the most devastating in Australian history; 173 people tragically lost their lives, 414 were injured, more than a million wild and domesticated animals were lost and 450,000 hectares of land were burned.

In February 2009, the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments jointly established the $10 million Community Recovery Fund to assist in community development and recovery after the Victorian bushfires. Funding of $2.5 million was allocated for memorials and commemorative events and has supported the creation of 59 memorials across 18 councils through extensive consultation with those communities impacted by the fires. The memorials include walls, sculptures, places of reflection, storyboards, lookout towers, roadside stops, shelters, signage, murals, plaques and seating, commemorative gardens and rotundas. 


Address:Bald Spur Road, Lookout, Kinglake National Park, St Andrews , 3761
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.542457
Long: 145.314807
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Designer:RMIT Landscape Architecture Department (Professor SueAnne Ware & Masters students),


Front Inscription

The day of 7 February 2009 marked Australia’s worst natural disaster when the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria claimed 173 lives.
In St Andrews fire killed 14 people and destroyed 65 homes and thousands of native and domestic animals.
Mid-afternoon as temperatures soared to 45.7C, embers scooped up in 150km/h winds were blown from as far away as 20km and started spot fires in the northern part of St Andrews. Here four people lost their lives.
Just before 6pm, as flames roared towards the main township where more than 600 people waited, a firefighter phone St Andrews fire brigade with the dramatic warning; ‘Two minutes, St Andrews.’ One minute later the wind changed and the township survived.
In taking a different direction towards Kinglake, the fire claimed 10 more St Andrews’ lives.
The Black Saturday fires destroyed areas extending some 100km from west to east, and affected countless people’s lives forever.

Finding your way
This site is dedicated to the memory of those who died on Black Saturday, and to their loved ones. It honours unique experiences, and a community that has been, and continues to be influenced by the events of 7 February 2009.
The middle path leads you to the top of the site where a silver ring bears a poem and circular imprints, commemorating each of the 173 people who died in Victoria. A surrounding circle of large rocks sits in memory of the 14 people who lost their lives in St Andrews.
The lower tier is a sacred pathway acknowledging each of the 14 people who died in St Andrews.

Devastation. Then silence.
In Nillumbik shire alone, 9,800 hectares were destroyed by fire. The impact on the people who lived here, and the many who still do, cannot be understated. People in St Andrews who have spoken of Black Saturday recall different experiences depending on where they were at the time.
Some remember grassfires racing across hilltop farmland in seconds. Others recall gale-force winds propelling flaming branches and fireballs overhead. Firestorms descended on people in the valleys without warning. The firestorms created their own weather, which intensified the heat and caused thunder and lightning. Some people were surrounded by blazing forests, as thick black smoke turned day to night.
People recall the deafening roar. It could even be heard many kilometres from the fire front.
After the fire passed, all that remained was blackened landscape covered in ash. People remember the eerie silence and the longing for the sound of a bird calling. The smell of burning remained long afterwards, a constant reminder that lingered not just for weeks but for years.


Left Side Inscription
Hope and regeneration.
Slowly, signs of life began to appear. The first breakthroughs. A green shoot on a blackened trunk, a twitter from a high branch. The soothing orange moss the earth produces only after fire.
Animals began returning and people set about rebuilding their lives. The bush started regenerating, some plant species emerged after laying dormant for decades.
A stronger St Andrews community was forged with a renewing sense of hope.
This site still bears scars today. Burnt trunks stand in remembrance. And new growth witnesses the hope, courage and sense of community that has buoyed the people of St Andrews as they continue to rebuild and heal.
Source: RDV, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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