Australia — THE legend of Sam the koala and the remarkable moment when a firefighter shared his water bottle with the struggling animal has been immortalised in a bronze sculpture. The internationally famous image will be unveiled today in Gippsland.
The work, by renowned sculptor Michael Meszaros, is a 2.4m wide by 1.5m tall relief showing the poignant moment when Sam accepted a drink from CFA firefighter David Street during last February’s Gippsland fires.
The sculpture was paid for by the Bushfire Appeal, after Mirboo North residents requested a lasting memorial in tribute to the volunteers who rallied in the aftermath of Black Saturday.
Mirboo North and District Recovery Committee chairman Ned Dennis said the community thought long and hard about what to do with the $79,000 grant.
“We wanted the people who generously donated to the bushfire appeal to be proud of what we have done with their money,” Mr Dennis said.
“The image of the firefighter helping the koala was chosen because it had such a resonance, because it was so inspirational and uplifting.”
The work took 18 months to complete in Melbourne.
It was moved into place in Baromi Park in Main St, Mirboo North, by crane this week.