Harkness Cemetery Master Plan
The Greater Metropolitan Cemetery Trust (GMCT)
Mark van den Enden
Harkness Cemetery is on a 128-hectare parcel of undeveloped land adjacent to Gilgai Woodlands Nature Conservation Reserve in the City of Melton, part of Melbourne’s fast-growing western suburbs.
Our master plan for the site embraces Wurundjeri culture and aims to foster an ongoing, respectful relationship with the Traditional Owners of the land to further cultural awareness, knowledge exchange, and understanding.
The plan also reframes traditional ideas of what a cemetery should be. Along with creating a peaceful sanctuary for grieving, our consortium has laid the groundwork for an innovative, multi-use public space with recreation areas, retail spaces, and parklands that welcome the community – and celebrate life.
The reimagined cemetery is designed to help repair Country, connect Country to people, and connect people to one another.
Our consortium has also addressed the challenges associated with climate change, population density, and demand for more open, diverse, and inclusive public spaces.
As it adapts and reflects our changing society, Harkness will offer a unique, open space experience for generations to come.