Whittlesea Bushfire Memorial

Client: City of Whittlesea, Victoria

Opened: October 2014

The memorial aims to communicate to future generations the impact of the devastating Black Saturday fires on the local community and to celebrate the community spirit that has supported those affected by the fires.

Led by Toni Roberts, the Hatchling Studio team won the project through competitive public tender to design the memorial and develop interpretive content. We developed the site in consultation with the community of Whittlesea.

The pod form alludes to native seeds that propagate only after intense wild fires. Like a seed pod, the memorial place embraces the visitor, offering a sanctuary for private remembrance and shared stories. From the outset, community co-design of the interpretation was an essential aspect of the memorial design; a ‘narrative wall’ presents themes of fire, loss and the community spirit through image and text developed with community members.

Design and construction are now complete and the memorial is open to the public.