We have worked closely with the community to create permanent memorials of the 2009 bushfires, at a number of significant locations in the Whittlesea area.
A permanent memorial has been created at the corner of Coombs, Humevale and Yea Roads, honouring the 12 local people who lost their lives in this area.
A permanent memorial has been created on the edge of the pond at Toorourrong Reservoir Park. This memorial honours 35 people who lost their lives, and who had strong connections to the Whittlesea area.
The design is based on a seed-pod with two granite stone walls enclosing granite seats representing seeds dispersing out of the pod and into the pond, symbolising new life and regeneration. The granite used is the original stone used in the reservoir and park construction in the late 1800s.
Extensive work was undertaken with the community to develop the text and visual content of this memorial. One wall displays the 35 names from 13 families. The other wall portrays the community impact of the fires through themes of fire, loss and spirit.
Construction of the memorial was completed in May 2015 and a private dedication ceremony was held with bereaved families.
The park is open to the public every day, including public holidays, from 9am.
The Whittlesea Community Activity Centre/Walker Reserve precinct was also a significant site for people in the first days and weeks after the fires.
The Whittlesea Community Activity Centre has undergone an extensive redevelopment, increasing the size of the building, introducing new facilities and include some memorial elements to recognise its contribution during the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.
Directly next to this development is the Whittlesea Community Garden, created in response to community needs and energy following the 2009 Bushfires. The garden always welcomes new members.
For more information on the community garden, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Megan Smithwick on 0407 699 775.
The Fire Recovery Unit is the key point of contact within the Victorian Government for information and connection to services for bushfire-affected individuals and communities.
There continues to be a range of support services offering personal, emotional, psychological and financial help to those affected by the 2009 bushfires.
For contact details and more information, visit the Fire Recovery Unit website or call 1800 055 714.