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Artwork - Queenia, Stonnington Primary School, to The Alfred hospital Burns Unit, Melbourne, Feb 2009 Object Reg. No: HT 27604

Child's drawing with a message for the survivors of the Black Saturday bushfires, specifically the patients at The Alfred Burns Unit, Melbourne.

In the days after Black Saturday in February 2009, in which 173 people died and thousands were injured or left homeless, people all over Victoria and Australia were moved to express their sympathy. Many of them directed messages of support to the emergency services, including the Burns Unit at The Alfred hospital.

Stonnington Primary is a state school in the suburb of Windsor in Melbourne's inner south. Nearly 130 children, from Prep to Grade 6, attend the school; they come from many different cultural backgrounds and speak 31 languages. Within days of the fires, the children decided to make gifts for patients at The Alfred hospital, which is not far from their school. The teacher wrote down messages that the children composed, and the children referred to this poster while making their pictures. More than 100 gifts were produced and the older children then walked to the hospital to deliver them to the Burns Unit.
Child's drawing on white paper with blue mount. Images include a sun with smiling face, a row of birds, a house, rainbow, butterfly and row of flowers. Along the bottom are three figures labelled 'mum', 'dad' and 'me'. The text is hand-written in pencil.
Statement Of Significance:
This card of one of many that were received by The Alfred hospital in the days following the bushfires of February 2009. People around the world responded to the crisis with donations of money and material aid but they also wanted to express personal messages of hope and support directly to the people involved. The Burns Unit, as one of the major hospital services receiving victims of the bushfires, was swamped with cards, letters and gifts not only for the patients but also for the staff of the Unit. This collection illustrates the power of the media in conveying the effects of the fires, but more importantly it demonstrates people's need to connect directly with the victims and their carers, regardless of whether they even knew their names.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Peter Frawley - The Alfred Hospital and Caulfield General Medical Centre Archives, 2010
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 300 mm (Height), 420 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: children, bushfires, emergency medical services, artworks
Themes this item is part of: Medicine in Society Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Victorian Bushfires Collection
Primary Classification: SUSTAINABILITY
Secondary Classification: Natural Disasters
Tertiary Classification: bushfires
Inscriptions: Hand-lettered in pencil:
Queenia 17.2.09 / We will help you get new / things. We are sorry about / the fires.
Sender: Stonnington Primary School, Windsor, Victoria, Australia, Feb 2009
Place & Date Depicted: Victoria, Australia, Feb 2009
Recipient: The Alfred Hospital Burns Unit, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Feb 2009

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