An aerial view of the Memorial soon after it was built at the Treasury Gardens. The curved placement of the stone path embraces the lake and is interwoven with garden beds.  The planting introduces native plant species endemic to Victorian Mountain Range districts and enhances the bio diversity of the Gardens.
A clay model shows the different scales and shapes of pieces of stone, together they form the overall curve for the memorial stone wall. Some shapes suggest the natural texture of the stone.
A black ink concept sketch of the Victorian Emergency Services stonework wall. Looking down from above, the sketch shows various shaped stones, including some plank shaped pavers cut into tapered forms to create the curved structure of the memorial.
Aerial view concept plan sketch of the memorial shows a lake, the location of garden beds, paths and surrounding trees  set within the Treasury Gardens.
A young boy is taking a photo of a mother and son siting on a large piece of white and grey marbled stone at the memorial. They are looking towards the rock wall with the name plaques. In the background is a garden of ferns and eucalyptus trees. In the foreground are green reeds.
A man and a woman stand at the edge of the Memorial at dusk with the cityscape in the background. The woman is taking a photo of the memorial.
Quarried and sawn stone types, of different surface texture and pigmentation, are arrayed on the ground plane and form central and edge planting. These gardens feature tree ferns and distinct eucalypt species.
A woman with three men stand on a stone path within the Memorial. There are clouds of mist from a fountain. The mist floats above green reed beds. On the right are green ferns. Behind the memorial are mature trees that have changed colour in autumn. In the background is the Melbourne cityscape.
A man is strolling along the stone path which weaves through the memorial. To the left of the man is a fountain that creates a mist cloud that floats above the reeds in the summer light. Behind the man is a garden bed filled with a diverse selection of plants.
A group of people, some from the Victorian Armed Forces gather together at the Memorial. Surrounding the people is a curved stone wall with name plaques of the people who died in the line of duty. A bank of green reed beds is in the foreground. In the background are trees in autumn colours.

Victorian Emergency Services Memorial, Treasury Gardens

Rush Wright Associates 2020

Description

The Victorian Emergency Services Memorial, inside the Treasury Gardens, is a collaboration between the Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Brigade (now Fire Rescue Victoria), the Victorian SES, Ambulance Victoria, Forest Fire Management Victoria and Life Saving Victoria.

The design combines the differing needs and cultures of six separate emergency services agencies into one memorial space, supporting the idea of a 'Collective City' experience.

A place of sanctuary and reflection for members’ families to reflect on the service and sacrifice of their loved ones, this 'garden memorial' was conceived to become part of its surrounding parklands. At its centre, mist fountains form the heart of the memorial space—an ephemeral cloud that signifies smoke, impermanence, transcendence and the frailty of flesh. Rough- and sawn-edged Victorian stones lend a tactile pathos to the memorial and link to the tradition of stonework in Melbourne’s historic central parks, while the moulds for the bronze plaques, signs and central smoking bowl were hand-sculpted by Rush Wright Associates with local clays to ingrain Victorian stone textures.

The use of native tree ferns in the new Victorian Emergency Services Memorial grafts a natural tension between ‘Victorian place,' through the representation of fire-prone Victorian fern environments like the Dandenongs, and the ‘Victorian era,' alluding to the Treasury Gardens’ history as a 19th-century Victorian era garden when fern mania was rife and professional and amateur collectors plundered those same forests for Melbourne’s first parks.

The Victorian Emergency Services Memorial received an award for Landscape Design in the 2021 TDF Design File Awards.

What's On

Rush Wright Associates director Michael Wright will take the audience on a tour of the memorial.

The audience will learn about the process of the original design concept through to the completion of the project, which started from concept sketches through to the selection of plants choice and the choice of building materials.

Images: (1) Aerial view of the Memorial. The planting introduces native plant species endemic to Victorian Mountain Range districts and enhances the biodiversity of the Gardens. Photo: John Gollings. (2) Clay model of the Memorial wall stonework concept. Photo: RWA. (3) Aerial view concept sketch of the stonework wall at the Victorian Emergency Services Memorial. Photo: RWA. (4) Concept site plan for the Memorial and Treasury Garden context adjacent to the JFK lake and Memorial: Photo: RWA. (5) The Victorian Emergency Services Memorial is a place of sanctuary and reflection for members’ and families to reflect on the service and sacrifice of their loved ones. Photo: RWA. (6) Cityscape view of the Victorian Emergency Services Memorial. Photo: John Gollings. (7) Complex custom stone masonry at the Memorial. The array of stone types reference the different geological regions of Victoria. Photo: RWA. (8) Members and families gather at the Memorial, to pay their respects to the those who lost their lives in the line of service. Photo: RWA. (9) Reed beds and mist fountains form the heart of the Memorial space. Photo: RWA. (10) Members and families gather at the Victorian Emergency Services Memorial for the Annual CFA Memorial Service held in 2021. Photo: RWA.

Important Details

Time & Date

Saturday 29 + Sunday 30 July
Tours running 11am + 2pm
Running for 60 minutes
No bookings required
The tour is outdoors, so please dress for Melbourne weather.

Meet in the middle of the Victorian Emergency Services Memorial for the tour.
The Victorian Emergency Services Memorial is located in the Treasury Gardens. To find the memorial, follow one of the paths into the centre of the Treasury Gardens from Spring St, Wellington Parade or Landsdowne St or from the Treasury Buildings. The memorial is positioned in the middle of the park and about 80 meters from the Treasury Buildings.

ACCESSIBILITY

Fully wheelchair accessible, Sensory friendly, Accessible bathroom

AGE REQUIREMENTS

All Ages

Location

Victorian Emergency Services Memorial, Treasury Gardens, 2-18 Spring St, East Melbourne VIC 3002

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