Victorian Emergency Services Memorial, Treasury Gardens
Rush Wright Associates 2020
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.
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.
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.
Fully wheelchair accessible, Sensory friendly, Accessible bathroom
Victorian Emergency Services Memorial, Treasury Gardens, 2-18 Spring St, East Melbourne VIC 3002