Ellen Stirling Garden forms the civic heart around which Ellenbrook Town Centre North has been ordered, and has been designed to commemorate and celebrate the life of Ellen Stirling, after whom Ellenbrook has been named.
The park features formal design elements and the use of brick and wrought iron to reference the Georgian character of Ellen’s early colonial heritage. Many structures and artworks have a softer, lighter more open feel to reflect a feminine character appropriate to the spirit of Ellen Stirling. Located in Drummond precinct, the park plantings, structures and artworks have a strong botanical focus, reflecting both Ellen’s interest in plants and James Drummonds heritage as horticulturist in charge of Cork Botanical Gardens before emigrating to the colony in 1829, where he became the first Superintendent of Gardens, and subsequently appointed Government Naturalist by Governor Stirling. Plantings embrace both exotic and Australian species to reflect this heritage.
The park is divided into 3 zones to provide a range of recreational and cultural opportunities and experiences; a community zone, memorial zone and family zone. The memorial zone provides five quieter, contemplative spaces for reflection and celebration. The central memorial space is the largest, catering for larger groups and events, and features a central pavilion surrounded by a formal circular lawn area. Four small, intimate memorial gardens are tucked into planted areas off the central circus, each having a slightly different character and featuring artworks, furniture and cut metal screens to provide unique places of reflection. One of the memorial gardens celebrates the life of Ellen Stirling, and another celebrates the life of the late Jaye Radisich, former state Labor MP for Swan Hills, a modern woman who embodied the spirit and qualities of Ellen Stirling and strongly supported the development of Ellenbrook. Jaye’s family were consulted in relation to the design of her memorial garden, which they formally opened in April 2017.