Making Healesville’s Markers

Paul Walker from Lions Club co-ordinated the project.188141_01

By Michael Doran

Community engagement can work wonders and the Healesville Lions Club has shown that with their Coronation Park Markers Project, launched on Sunday 25 November.

In November 2014 the Lions Club decided to do a project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Healesville. Lions Project Coordinator, Paul Walker said “We wanted to do something that depicted the last 150 years of the town and we thought maybe we could do some sort of monument.

“We were directed towards a few people who were involved in this kind of thing and Nicola Staimand, who lives in Chum Creek, was recommended to us.

“We originally had a plan and an approval from Yarra Ranges council to do something on the grass area next to the library but council later discovered a previous planning approval ruled that site out.

“The club had already worked on Coronation Park, previously the council caravan park, where we had done a project to get it cleaned up. We approached council about using that space and they were happy to go with that.”

The next step was to work with the Healesville and District Historical Society and to decide the main themes of the 150 years of Healesville that would be featured on the markers. “It was important to fit the design in with the tall trees in the area and that is why we went with the tall markers,” Mr Walker said.

Nicola Staimand said she took the original thoughts of a typical bronze-plaque memorial and contemplated how else that information could be presented.

“We thought it would be great to have something people could walk through and explore and to take them though a journey of the different themes that have made Healesville what it is today,” she said.

Healesville artist, Ali Griffin worked on the concept to formulate a set of designs reflective of the the towns history and growth.

“I thought it was really important to incorporate some of the materials that represent the area and the inspiration for those came from the topics that are written about on each marker. It is about the history and the materials and their interaction in Healesville,” she said.

Paul Walker said that the project has been totally funded by the Lions Club at a cost around $35,000 which came from the proceeds of the Lions Den shop. “None of this would have been possible without the army of volunteers at the Lions Den shop,” he said.