50 Years of Wildlife at La Trobe

50 Years of Wildlife at La Trobe

In La Trobe’s 50th anniversary year, the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary will create an image-lead timeline of the 50 years of La Trobe and the Wildlife Sanctuary, documenting its rich history over this period.  They will highlight key milestones of the Wildlife Sanctuary and its connection to community using a rich resource of aerial images. Sections of the timeline will form the basis for an interpretive sign located on the Bundoora campus.

The La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary was created alongside La Trobe University in 1967, as a radical movement in environmental conservation and community development.

It was created to restore and conserve indigenous flora and fauna native to the northern region of Melbourne and the Lower Yarra Valley. The land that encompasses the Sanctuary was previously part of a 530-hectare Mental Hospital Reserve, more specifically the area used for the Hospital Farm, used to treat returning soldiers suffering from psychiatric illnesses.

As decades passed, and La Trobe University evolved in to the established institution it is today, the area around it also flourished and gave birth to a thriving economy, with a community set on social accountability and responsibility.

The La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary has grown from an initial 6.5-hectares, to where it currently stands at 28.8 hectares. It currently services thousands of members of the community that visit the Sanctuary each year, hundreds of volunteers from the community and university, and around five thousand primary school students visiting on excursions.

Project update

The 50 Years of Wildlife at La Trobe project is well underway. The team are currently sourcing historical aerial photographs to produce physical signage and an audio-visual display for use in the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary Visitor Centre.

The Wildlife Sanctuary are seeking historical photographs of prior land-use, infrastructure and events at the Sanctuary. Staff are also aiming to contact and interview notable individuals and staff from the Sanctuary’s history to document the evolution of the Sanctuary from the 1950s – 2017.

If you have photographs or stories you are happy to share, please email Jacinta Humphrey in the Sanctuary Services Team.