In recognition of providing the greatest gift

A place to respectfully scatter ashes and to allow the quiet reflection for the families of deceased loved ones is the purpose of the Griffith University Memorial Sculpture.

Set to be formally unveiled at a ceremony on Monday February 10 at the Southport Lawn Cemetery, the sculpture aims to show gratitude and respect for individuals who have donated their body as part of the Griffith Donor Body Program.

To date, the program has in excess of 3000 donors on its live registry, with an additional 160 who have so far bequeathed their bodies to Griffith for anatomy teaching and research. Head of the School of Anatomy, Professor Mark Forwood says that Monday will be a significant occasion for Griffith and the Discipline of Anatomy.

“Since the establishment of a body donation program to support anatomy teaching, it had always been planned that a memorial site would be developed to accept the ashes of our donors that were not returned to their families.

Close proximity to the Gold Coast campus

“With the generous cooperation of the Gold Coast City Council, we have settled on a site within the Southport Lawn Cemetery, which is in close proximity to the Griffith campus and can be seen from the 10th floor where the anatomy facility is housed.”

A tendering process saw local artist Mr Luke Zwolsman commissioned to create the black granite memorial sculpture which incorporates plaques acknowledging those who have provided to the program. The sculpture also features a portal within its structure which is representative of passing from one life to the next.

“The Memorial Sculpture represents the Body Donation Program’s deep gratitude to those who have contributed, as well as a way for friends and family of donors to gather and reflect on their loved one,” says Professor Forwood.

He says the program supports the education of health students in disciplines such as medicine, medical science, pharmacy, physiotherapy, exercise science, dentistry and oral health, as well as established surgical practitioners who can be assisted with their teaching programs and research.

“Body donations from the local community are vitally important so our health students can receive practical training in human anatomy,” he says.

“The generosity of body donors, our new state-of the-art anatomy facilities, and committed teachers ensure our students receive the very best preparation for their chosen careers.”

The Griffith Health Centre features some of the country’s most advanced anatomy facilities and includes an increased student capacity with three wet labs to cater for up to 300 students at one time; a ten table surgical skills laboratory and a 50 seat Anatomy and Pathology learning centre.

Over 1400 Griffith University first year students use the facility every year.

“We are very appreciative of the decisions made by these donors and the support shown by their families. The Memorial Sculpture is a public demonstration of that appreciation,” Professor Forwood says.

For more information about Griffith’s Body Bequest program 07 5552 7700 or email [email protected]