Memorial garden offers peaceful environment for community reflection (Media release)

Memorial gardenA new memorial garden for victims of violence within Merri-bek has been built in Coburg North’s Brosnan Park – dedicated to offering a peaceful environment for community reflection.

Officially opened last week, the new feature garden, bluestone paving and seating offers a leafy setting for visitors to get some respite in the quiet natural setting. It also acknowledges the damage violence causes.

Moreland City Council hopes that the space will offer a reminder to those affected by violence that victims are not alone.  

Recently planted young Crepe Myrtle trees will soon grow taller, providing a canopy or ‘roof’ of shade to provide a quiet space for visitors. A carpet of green and flowering plants will also add to the sense of a garden ‘room’.

Bluestone paving is engraved with a series of poetic words, reminding visitors that the garden exists for them.

The design was created in close consultation with the Merri-bek Family Violence Network, a group dedicated to raising awareness of family violence within the Merri-bek community.

Artist and advocate for the recognition of the ongoing damages of family violence, Guler Altunbas, commended Council on providing a space where people can begin to heal.

“We can come together and honour and remember victims of violence and mourn for their loss,” said Ms Altunbas.

Deeply affected by acts of family violence herself, Ms Altunbas generously shared her stories and insights to those who gathered at the garden for the opening.

Family Violence Campaigner, Phil Cleary – who was instrumental in the memorial garden’s creation – also spoke at the opening. Cleary’s own sister’s life was violently taken by an ex-partner in 1987.

On the memorial he said, “We are reminding people that the struggle of women is a matter for public discussion… the garden puts the issue forward in a subtle and considered way.”

Moreland City Council is committed to promoting awareness of the issues around violence, and will be hosting a White Ribbon Day walk against violence in Coburg on Friday 24 November. All are invited to join the walk, which will begin at the Coburg Town Hall at 10 am and end at Victoria Mall.

To read about Council’s family violence initiatives, and for a list of local services assisting those experiencing family violence, visit our Family violence page.

30 October 2017