The Kilmore East bushfire on Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, claimed 119 lives, destroyed thousands of hectares of land and hundreds of houses.
In 2014, in recognition of the shocking impacts of this tragedy, Urban Initiatives collaborated with Arterial Design, Mitchell Shire Council, representatives of the affected community and local fabricators to produce the central Mitchell Memorial in Broadford, as well as a series of smaller, local memorials. The memorials were conceived as a linked group, reflecting a shared, albeit devastating, experience within the region.
The smaller memorials, located in Kilmore East, Wandong, Upper Plenty, Sunday Creek and Reedy Creek, connect each of these townships. Commonalities are conveyed through repeated design components, a timeline communicated on a cast bronze memorial plaque displaying the time that the fire reached each town, and a topographic map of the region.
The memorials were designed as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives during this tragic event, as well as the losses and impacts on the broader community. The memorials also recognise the contribution of the many people who assisted with recovery efforts, the huge contribution of the Country Fire Authority, State Emergency Service, Victoria Police and many Services Clubs and groups for their support.