Remembrance tree planted to remember lives lost to violence

June 13, 2024 BY

The memorial tree was planted by Bellarine MP Alison Marchant (right) and St Leonards Community Care's Jenny Knox. Photos: ELLIE CLARINGBOLD

A MOONAH tree has been planted on the St Leonards foreshore to honour those who have lost their lives to violence.

The local community gathered on Monday this week to commemorate the occasion, watching on as Bellarine MP Alison Marchant and St Leonards Community Care Group’s Jenny Knox planted the memorial tree in Harvey Park.

The moonah tree is accompanied by a plaque which reads, “This memorial tree is dedicated to people affected by violence. A space for contemplation and reflection.”

The site overlooks a seagrass heart on the beach below, a reminder of the candlelight vigil held only a couple of weeks earlier during which the community came together to call for an end to gendered violence.

A plaque accompanies the moonah tree, identifying the area as a space of hope, contemplation and a call for social change.


Ms Marchant said the tree’s planting represented hope and love and encouraged the start of important conversations within the community about violence.

“The tree symbolises hope and was planted with love.

“As it grows, so does our resolve to end violence in our communities.”

She congratulated the St Leonards community on the initiative, which she said helped to unite people against “this wicked problem that we have”.

Ms Knox said she hoped the tree will become a safe place for those who have experienced or been a witness to violence or have lost a loved one to violence and encouraged the local community to take the time to visit the growing tree.

She said the space where the moonah tree has been planted “symbolises hope”, offers the community a place to “stop, reflect and contemplate” and acts as a “catalyst for social change”.

The planting was followed by live music and a barbecue.