Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, was the greatest natural disaster in Australia's recorded history. In the weeks following the bushfires that ravaged many parts of Victoria in 2009, Museum Victoria set up the Victorian Bushfires Collection to preserve and document objects and stories from the fires. The collection includes bushfire-damaged objects, emergency services equipment, oral histories, artwork, images, and material from public education campaigns.

Museum Victoria hopes the collection will not only lead to greater public understanding of bushfires and their effect on communities but also assist in the healing process through commemoration and the sharing of stories.

The collection will continue to grow as it documents the reconstruction efforts, changing patterns of bushfire response and the effect of climate change on how we understand and engage with our beautiful but dangerous bush.

Significant items:

  • A burnt-out 1950 FX Holden 48-215, part of a collection of vintage motor cars destroyed in the Churchill fire
  • A chimney from Kinglake, all that remained of the nineteenth-century homestead 'The Uplands', currently installed in the Forest Gallery at Melbourne Museum
  • Burned and melted domestic objects, from a Box Brownie camera to a child's bicycle
  • 'Black Saturday', a painting of Marysville by Glenn Morgan
  • Sam the Koala, a koala that became a public symbol of hope and resilience in the aftermath of the fires
  • A 'Thank You' sculpture that was donated to the People of Victoria at the Thank You Melbourne and Victoria concert of 7 April 2010

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