The development of a master plan for a new cemetery and parklands in western Melbourne will move ahead with a consortium of expert designers and architects.

The Chair of the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, Michael Doery said: ‘I am pleased to announce that the team of Aurecon, Architectus, McGregor Coxall and Greenshoot has been chosen as the successful consortium to work with us to develop a master plan for the greenfield site at Harkness’.

‘The state of Victoria has a once-in-a-100-year opportunity to work with the community to build a world-class asset that provides comfort to families’, said GMCT Chair Michael Doery.

Artist impression

GMCT embarked on an international search for a multi-disciplinary consortium that could respond to the challenge of reimagining the public cemetery for the Victorian community.

About GMCT

Established in 2010 GMCT is a self-funding Class A Cemetery Trust regulated under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 (Vic). We report to the Department of Health (DH) and are governed by a Trust appointed by the Minister for Health.

Our operations cover the north, west and east regions of metropolitan Melbourne, and we manage 19 cemeteries plus two greenfield sites, including the greenfield site at Harkness. 

We are a trusted partner supporting Victorian families through their experiences of life, death and grieving. We provide burial, cremation, and memorialisation services to meet the needs of our diverse communities, and we encourage families to plan ahead.


GMCT CEO Deb Ganderton explained that: ‘Even in these challenging times, we have gone through a rigorous process to attract 24 comprehensive submissions, which were shortlisted to progress to a detailed design stage’.

The successful consortium team has demonstrated innovation and expertise in other major projects across Australia and will bring their collective ideas to this memorial park development’.

The consortium lead Alistair Adams from Aurecon said: ‘The Harkness Memorial Park site presents a significant and timely opportunity to reimagine traditional cemetery design. Our team seeks to set a new benchmark for sustainability, restoration and repair, engagement, honouring memorialisation and enhancing the public realm, whilst celebrating First People's knowledge and culture and honouring the Wurundjeri people as the site's Traditional Owners’.

Alistair Adams expressed the view of the consortium: ‘We share in the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust’s compelling vision and look forward to working in collaboration with the wider community to create a world-class memorial park for many generations’.

Through this process, GMCT is responding to the challenge to develop a new interment space to meet Melbourne’s long-term needs.

The greenfield site at Harkness is 128 hectares and will be the largest cemetery to be established in Melbourne for more than 100 years.