Zoos Victoria's three properties are home to sites of cultural significance and we understand the privilege and importance of being entrusted as custodians of traditional country. We will protect and celebrate the landscapes within our properties that have cultural and heritage value.
In 1861, Melbourne Zoo moved to Royal Park from the Botanical Gardens. Historically Royal Park was used for development and grazing, housing and recreation. Prior to this, Royal Park was an important Aboriginal camping ground and fell within the territory of the Wurundjeri people.
A Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Registered scar tree is located within the grounds of Melbourne Zoo in close proximity to the heritage listed perimeter fence. The scar tree is estimated to be over 400 years old.
We intend to design and build an Indigenous inspired garden at Melbourne Zoo to showcase this tree. The garden will contain culturally significant plants and will tell the story of the Scar Tree through interpretation, signage, audio cues and lighting. The Garden will be approx 100 square metres including an Indigenous inspired landscape, interpretative elements, bush tucker garden, seating and shaded zones. The landscape of the garden will play four important roles:
(1) create a sensory experience for the visitor
(2) tell a story
(3) protect the Scar Tree
(4) be a place for celebrating culturally significant events.
Interpretative elements in the Garden will educate visitors and students about the scar tree and local indigenous heritage. Students participating in the learning programs will benefit from classes and research projects in the Garden as part of the Zoo’s education programs.
Project Budget $50,000
With thanks to the Lord Mayor's Foundation Youth in Philanthropy program who awarded this project a small grant.
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