2009 Black Saturday Bushfire MemorialPrint Page Print this page

The memorial commemorates the events of February 7, 2009 which claimed the lives of 14 people in the community. The memorial features a landscaped garden and a sculptural seat, a memorial nook with plaques, the St Andrews Slumped Glass Bowl Memorial Artwork, and a memorial rock and sculpture.

The RMIT Landscape Architecture Department, including Professor SueAnne Ware and Masters students, worked on the design process with the St Andrews Bushfire Memorial Working Group, with input from the community.

Leanne Mooney, artist - Dreaming Seat. R Hughes, artist -  Leaf Memorial Book. R Hayley, artist - St Andrews slumped glass bowl. Memorial Rock and Sculpture: Man and Fire - Shane McGrath and the Men's Shed at St Andrews 2013-2015.

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:35 Caledonia Street, St Andrews Community Centre, St Andrews , 3761
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.601564
Long: 145.271703
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Garden
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:07-February-2009
Actual Event End Date:07-February-2009
Designer:RMIT Landscape Architecture Department (Professor SueAnne Ware & Masters students),


Front Inscription

Black Saturday
Memorial Garden: 
This garden is one element of the St Andrews Black Saturday memorial. It is dedicated to the memory of the events of 7 February 2009. A day of raging fires that claimed the lives of 14 people in St Andrews and forever changed our lives, our community and our environment.

Memorial Rock and Sculpture: Man and Fire - Shane McGrath and the Men's Shed at St Andrews 2013-2015

The task from the outset was to create a new work in collaboration with the Men’s Shed of St Andrews as part of the 2013 Laughing Waters artist residency of Shane McGrath.

The concept came out of the steam-bending workshop that artist Shane McGrath presented to the Men’s Shed as a way of experimenting with materials and techniques and introducing a new skill to the shed. The end result would be curved timbers of various lengths that would be used to create an organic sculpture to mark the opening of the new Men’s Shed. This became a successful trial and error exercise.
The concept and form is an abstract representation of the proximity of the sculpture to the shed as well as the recent history of the area and the work and social interactions inside the shed. The geometric symbol of the male is the upward pointing triangle, as is the symbol of fire and it is a form of strength and stability. The final installation of the sculpture is meant to encourage all of these readings and intended to symbolise a new beginning for the community and the shed. The shed has shown itself to be an invaluable part of the healing process following the fires, and even though fire can be destructive it is also around a fire that we come together for warmth, for sustenance and to share.


Left Side Inscription

We remember, and mourn the 14 people from our community of St Andrews who lost their lives in the fires of Black Saturday;
and with respect, we remember the 173 lives lost across Victoria.
we give tribute to those who have suffered so much grief, so much loss, and so much struggle.
we honour their courage in rebuilding lives, strengthening families and community.
we acknowledge with heartfelt gratitude the selflessness, the generosity and the tireless efforts of so many people, known and unknown, in acts of protection, of giving and supporting.
we celebrate the human spirit in adversity; the will to share and encourage each other, and for all that is good.
from these things we have embodied hope for the future.
remember, respect, tribute, honour, acknowledge, celebrate, hope

The choice of timber as a material is meant as a confident act of defiance towards the elements, while simultaneously acknowledging the fragility of the surrounding natural environment. The copper helps to accentuate the suggestion of flames, but here they are contained and docile.

Source: RDV, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au