• History & heritage

Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre & Memorial Garden

2 McBride Street, Cockatoo, Victoria, 3781

The Ash Wednesday Bushfire and Education Centre is place of learning about events during the devastating bushfires.

Within the gardens a newly completed memorial pays homage to the Victorian Towns affected and is truly a beautiful space for remembrance and reflection.

The centre is located in an old kindergarten in Cockatoo's McBride Street, itself a part of the Ash Wednesday Bushfire history.

On Ash Wednesday, February 16, 1983, fire exploded into Cockatoo at about 7:30pm. As the sirens sounded, many townsfolk, mainly women, children and the elderly, fled to the kinder for sanctuary. When the flames swept across them and the building filled with smoke, they lay on the floor with wet towels over their heads, while brave firefighters climbed onto the roof to ensure their safety.

The Ash Wednesday bushfires were a series of bushfires that occurred in south-eastern Australia on 16 February 1983. In Victoria, 47 people died, while in South Australia there were 28 deaths. This included 14 CFA and three CFS volunteer fire-fighters who died across both states that day. Ash Wednesday was one of Australia's costliest natural disasters. Over 3,700 buildings were destroyed or damaged and 2,545 individuals and families lost their homes.

Content: AWBEC Inc
Type Entry cost
Indicative prices

The centre is staffed by dedicated volunteers. To assist with the running costs of this historical display there is a nominal entry fee of $2 per person or $5 per family (Two adults, two children)

$2.00 - $5.00
Social media:
  • BBQ facilities
  • Car park
  • Coach parking
  • Conference/convention facilities
  • Interactive centre
  • Interpretive centre
  • Picnic area
  • Public toilet
Opening hours:
  • Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
  • Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
  • Museums Australia
  • National Trust
  • Regional Tourist/Tourism Association/Organisation
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Disabled access available, contact operator for details
2 McBride Street, Cockatoo, Victoria, 3781

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  • -37.9358032 145.4905245