To honour the thousands of tributes outside the Hillcrest Primary School, a special collection will take place from 5pm on Friday, 31 December to help respectfully preserve the tributes.
Devonport City Council General Manager Matthew Atkins said families and the community are welcome to attend in quiet reflection while the collection is taking place.
Mr Atkins said to ensure the safety of those in attendance, a section of Lawrence Drive will be closed along the front of the Hillcrest Primary School and parking will be available in Lovett Street.
“Council will ensure these tributes are stored safely and will work with the family members, and the Hillcrest school community, to create a permanent memorial for the young lives that were taken too early,” Mr Atkins said.
“It is not known what this will be at this stage, but what is known is that it will be a suitable place where our community can remember these precious children.”
Mr Atkins said the tributes include floral arrangements, teddies, items treasured by the children like basketballs and Playstation controllers, drawings, photographs and heartfelt messages written in letters and on cards.
“People across Tasmania, and across the nation, have also passed on items and their thoughtful messages to impacted families and the Hillcrest school community,” Mr Atkins said.
“Between now and the 31 December the memorial will be monitored each day and any perishable items such as flowers which are beginning to deteriorate will be sensitively removed.
“It is expected the community will continue to leave tributes near the school over the coming weeks and Council will continue to preserve the dignity of the existing tributes and collect and preserve any other items left after 31 December.
“A public condolence book has also been set up on Council’s website and all messages will be given to the families and the Hillcrest community.”
Mr Atkins encouraged those attending the collection on Friday, to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures, including wearing a mask and using the Check In TAS app, or the sign in book, which will be available on site.
“A sincere thank you to our community who are continuing to support our most impacted families – our thoughts and prayers are with you all,” Mr Atkins said.
“We encourage anyone going through this difficult time, to reach out for help if you need it, by contacting Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.
Devonport City Council has a dedicated webpage where people can access the public condolence book, make a donation to the Hillcrest Community Public Fund and also seek the help they may need.
Tahnia Creedon | Communications and Engagement Officer | Devonport City Council | 03 64240562| [email protected]rt.tas.gov.au