Firetree – a national and international bushfire memorial.
A nine metre high stainless steel and copper gum tree created to mark the February 2009 Victorian bushfires goes on display on 30 November.
Some 3000 leaves are inscribed with messages to remember those who died, to honour men and women who fought the fires, and as a symbol of regeneration.
A branch of leaves sponsored by Independent Schools Victoria contains messages written by students from our Member Schools to comfort families affected by the fires, reflect their strength in adversity, and inspire hope for the future. It is our way of acknowledging their suffering.
Blacksmiths from across Australia and more than 15 countries worked together to create the tree, which will be placed in Strathewen, one of the communities affected by the fires. The project was initiated by the Australian Blacksmiths Association (Victoria) Inc.
The 2009 bushfires had a terrible impact on Victoria and some of our Member Schools. We set up a relief coordination service, listing equipment, goods and services being offered by our members and put schools in touch with each another. Schools responded generously – offering caravans, cars, equipment, books, school materials and counselling services. Within the first ten days, they raised nearly $300,000 and the offers of help continued for many months.
The tree will be assembled at Whittlesea Showground, Whittlesea-Yea Road. All are welcome to share in this memorial event. To find out more, contact our Arts Education Programs Manager, Anne Smith (email@example.com).