• The much-loved wood sculptures by Leigh Conkie, that stand in Greensborough War Memorial Park, are coming to the end of their functional life.

    Homefront is a project to bid farewell to the existing sculptures and create new sculptures that will acknowledge and celebrate the resilience of service men and women, their families and communities, as they rebuild their relationships following deployment. The new sculptures are being designed by local artists in consultation with war veterans and the local community.

In 2003, chainsaw sculptor Leigh Conkie crafted 12 sculptures from the stumps of cypress trees. These works of art, inspired by wartime characters, have become beloved by the community. As objects of beauty and symbolism, they have provided a gathering place; a place of quiet reflection. Unfortunately, the elements have not been kind to them over the years and the time has come for them to be removed.

They are going to be a hard act to follow. Community consultation is integral to the Homefront Project. This will provide inspiration for the design of a new sculpture or sculptures as well as the respectful removal of the existing sculptures.

You can be part of the project by sharing your stories, images or related artworks of war and homecoming. These may involve yourself, your family or friends. As well as providing inspiration, your stories will also help connect people to the veteran community and raise awareness of the impact of service on their lives and the sacrifice they have made. The artists will use stories and images from the community to form the basis of the design for new sculptures.





Leigh has always been an artist — painting and drawing from an early age. Leigh undertook studies in sculpture including design and bronze casting, but it was some time before he discovered the chainsaw as a tool for sculpting. At age 22, when asked to remove a fallen tree struck by lightning, Leigh was inspired to carve it into a human face and his love of chainsaw carving began. In 2013, he founded the Australian Chainsaw Carving Championships. His obsession with sculpture led him on a study tour of Japan where the work of Japanese master carvers informed his artistic endeavours.




Roland is a blacksmith with the Australian Blacksmiths Association, Victoria. He was one of the Lead Blacksmiths and a welder for the Black Saturday Tree Project — which culminated in the creation of a 10 metre high stainless steel and copper gum tree. He has produced forged stainless steel poppies for ANZAC park in Hurstbridge and the Avenue of Honour in Eltham, and sent forged iron roses to Norway for a memorial commemorating the shootings on Utøya Island. When not swinging a hammer, he works as heritage plasterer.




Amanda is a designer and Creative Director. She has worked as the Project Manager of the Black Saturday Tree Project bringing together blacksmiths on three continents to produce a spectacular metal gum tree in response to the Black Saturday bushfires. She has designed public sculpture for Mernda and Kinglake West, sculptural seating in Strathewen and has spoken at international Arts and Community conferences about her work. Amanda also works on branding of local events such as the Eltham Jazz Food & Wine Festival and Open Cellars of Nillumbik and is one of the creative minds behind the Cube Z shipping container gallery in Diamond Creek.


Austin Health comprises the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre. The organisation operates 980 beds across acute, sub-acute and mental health with an annual operating budget of more than $700 million. It is also an internationally recognised leader in clinical teaching and training, affiliated with eight universities. In addition, it is the largest Victorian provider of training for specialist physicians and surgeons.

The Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital has a proud history of caring for Veterans and War Widows. Originally built in 1941, the hospital became part of Austin Health in 1995. Today the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital continues to treat Veterans and War Widows and also provides services to the wider community including, day surgery, palliative care, mental health services, aged care, and outpatient services such as radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology and radiology.


Beginning in Alex Spence’s house in Briar Hill in 1929, the first charter was issued to Greensborough RSL Sub-Branch by the Returned Sailors, Soldiers & Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia in 1931. After World War 2, the Sub-Branch sent letters to all returned service men as part of a recruitment drive. In 1952, two blocks of land were purchased, for the grand sum of 402 pounds each, as a space to build permanent meeting rooms. This remains the current site to this day.

The initial meeting room was an Nissan Army Hut which was demolished in the early 1960’s to make way for a new concrete block and cement sheet building. In 1961 this structure was moved to the back of the block and the hall was built by the members; this was officially opened by Gus Lines, OBE, in 1962.

In 2008 the Club embarked on the largest renovation in its long history. A sum of $4.2 million was spent to make it one of the largest Sub-Branches in Victoria. The club today is currently experiencing a large increase in patronage and membership from local surrounding areas.


Banyule City Council supports the thriving arts and cultural scene for which the city is renowned. They create inspiring, relevant and entertaining arts experiences for all, collaborating with the Banyule community to promote the value of arts and culture, and enrich the city.

There are numerous community arts programs throughout the municipality, supporting the preservation and celebration of our city’s diverse heritage and cultures. Community events include Twilight Sounds, Kids Arty Farty Festival, Malahang Festival, Carols by Candlelight and Boulevard Lights. The Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe is a dedicated cultural hub, supporting thought provoking and high quality exhibitions. The council also manages Banyule’s public art program, the Banyule Art Collection and ‘Pinpoint’ – our local artist register and development network.

The Banyule Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee (BACAC) plays an active and strategic role in setting priorities for arts and culture in Banyule. It operates a number of Working Groups which contribute to planning and management of the arts and culture program.