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Memorial Establishment Guidelines

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions of this document click the link in the main navigation (grey) bar above or contact policies@westernsydney.edu.au for versions that expired pre 1 June 06.

Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The University recognises that colleagues or families may wish to commemorate a former staff member or student or a member of the public with a strong association with the University by establishing a memorial.

(2) This document provides advice to staff, students and the University community on the process for establishing a memorial, the types of memorials and who in the University can assist. It also establishes a framework for a coordinated approach to establishing memorials at the University.

(3) These guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Donations and Fundraising Policy and the Naming Policy.

Section 2 - Definitions

(4) Nil.

Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) Nil.

Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Who to Contact

(6) People wanting to establish a memorial to commemorate the life of a former staff member or student, or member of the public should contact Office of Advancement and Alumni. Depending on the circumstances, a Student Death Response Plan Coordinator may liaise with Office of Advancement and Alumni in the first instance.

Part B - Types of Memorials

Donations

(7) The University is committed to ongoing knowledge creation and strongly encourages memorials that support scholarship, teaching, learning and research. Therefore, memorials in the form of donations that support teaching and learning, and/or research are preferred. For example, this may include donations to provide a scholarship to support a student, a prize for a high achieving student; or to support the salary of a professorial chair or to purchase equipment for teaching or research.

(8) The Office of Advancement and Alumni will provide assistance and advice regarding individual or group donations; or establishing a memorial endowment for the purposes of providing a scholarship or prize. The type of assistance that the Office of Advancement and Alumni is able to provide will vary depending on the needs and wishes of the staff, students or families. For example, the Office of Advancement and Alumni may assist by undertaking a fundraising project to obtain additional funds to complement the original donation in order to create an endowment which then may fund an ongoing prize or scholarship.

(9) Commemorative donations can also be made to support the purchase of items for the University Art or Library collections. In-kind donations such as works of art or books will be considered in accordance with the Art Promotion and Collection Policy or the Library Collection Development and Access Policy as appropriate.

(10) The Donations and Fundraising Policy provides further information on donations.

Physical Memorials

(11) Physical memorials dealt with under this guideline will typically be limited to plaques, garden furniture, gardens, plantings and similar items. The naming of physical property - such as buildings, lecture theatres and so on - as a memorial will be approved in accordance with the Naming Policy.

(12) The University reserves the right to determine the conditions upon which it will establish and maintain a memorial, and may require the donor to enter into an appropriate form of acknowledgement or agreement.

(13) An application to establish a physical memorial may include the donation of an artwork, such as a sculpture. Where this occurs acceptance of the artwork will be considered in accordance with the Art Promotion and Collection Policy.

(14) The University does not allow the erection of permanent shrines and requests to scatter cremation ashes are discouraged.

Physical Memorials for Former Staff Members or Students

(15) It is important to recognise that any physical memorials on campus are not alternatives to conventional memorials in the wider community. They are supplementary and designed to commemorate an individual's association with the University.

(16) On the recommendation of the Office of Advancement and Alumni, the Vice-President, People and Advancement may approve the installation of a physical memorial for a deceased staff member or student, or a retiring or resigning staff member where that person has had a significant association with the University. The exceptions are where it includes the naming of physical property or is for a prominent person then the application should be dealt with under the Naming Policy.

(17) In regards to establishing a physical memorial, the University:

  1. will determine the type of physical memorial and will designate suitable memorial areas on each campus, such as gardens or drives in which physical memorials are to be located;
  2. reserves the right to remove or relocate memorial areas as required;
  3. may refuse an application to establish a physical memorial.

(18) The criteria for establishing a physical memorial are:

  1. In regards to a staff member, they:
    1. were continuously employed for a period of at least five years, unless there are exceptional circumstances;
    2. made a contribution to the University through professional service, teaching, research, and/or engagement with the community; and
    3. are deceased or have retired or resigned from the University.
  2. In regards to a student:
    1. are deceased and were enrolled in a program at the University at the time of their death, or they were enrolled but left the University due to a terminal illness and subsequently died; and
    2. contributed to the University through their activities, leadership, performance or representation while a student; or
    3. made a significant contribution to the community as an alumnus of the University.

(19) It is expected that those seeking to establish a physical memorial will meet the full cost of the purchase, installation and ongoing maintenance where required. The Office of Capital Works and Facilities and the Finance Office will determine or review the cost estimates at the time of the request.

Part C - Applications to Install a Physical Memorial (former staff and students)

(20) An application for the installation of a physical memorial for a former staff member or student should be made to the Office of Advancement and Alumni. The application can be submitted to the Provost of the relevant campus or through a Student Death Response Plan Coordinator who will recommend the proposal to the Executive Director, Advancement and Alumni. An application should include sufficient information about the person in order to establish their association with the University and the type of memorial, consistent with those recommended in this guideline. The Office of Advancement and Alumni may refuse an application for the establishing of a physical memorial if it does not meet the requirements of these guidelines.

(21) The Office of Advancement and Alumni will refer the application to the Office of Capital Works and Facilities to determine the recommended location and type of memorial. The Office of Advancement and Alumni will then recommend the application to the Vice-President, People and Advancement for approval. The exceptions are where an application includes the naming of physical property or is for a prominent person then the application should be dealt with under the Naming Policy.

(22) The Office of Advancement and Alumni will liaise with the applicants regarding the outcome, including, if approved, ongoing communications about arrangements regarding the establishment of the physical memorial, unless a Student Death Response Plan Coordinator is involved.

Part D - Location, Types and Maintenance of Physical Memorials

(23) To ensure a coordinated approach to locating physical memorials, the Office of Capital Works and Facilities will determine the location of suitable memorial areas, such as gardens or drives, on each campus and will identify these on the Campus Master Plans and footprint. The Office of Capital Works and Facilities will also determine the types of memorials that may be installed. This is so furniture or plants are appropriate and consistent with others on campus.

(24) The Office of Capital Works and Facilities will establish and maintain a memorial register for physical memorials installed in accordance with this policy. The register will detail for whom the memorial is established, the location of the memorial and a contact name. Details within the memorial register will be provided to the Office of Advancement and Alumni.

(25) It is envisaged that memorial areas will remain undisturbed but where it is necessary to relocate or remove a memorial area, the Office of Capital Works and Facilities will notify the Office of Advancement and Alumni who will, to the best of their ability contact next of kin or other contacts and let them know.

(26) Prior to the publication of this policy, a number of physical memorials were installed on campuses without the knowledge of the Office of Capital Works and Facilities or in areas that are not designated memorial areas. The Office of Capital Works and Facilities will undertake an audit of campus grounds and to the best of their ability, identify established physical memorials and record them on the memorial register.

  1. Where a physical memorial installed before this guideline needs to be moved, the Office of Capital Works and Facilities will relocate it to a designated memorial area on the same campus, and if a contact person is known, will advise them of the relocation.
  2. The Office of Capital Works and Facilities will do their best to maintain physical memorials installed before this guideline that are not in designated memorial areas but due to the diverse and obscure locations the University cannot ensure their safety or perpetuity.

Part E - Physical Memorials - Other

(27) The University recognises that from time-to-time in addition to making a donation (in accordance with the Donations and Fundraising Policy) members of the public may wish to establish a memorial at the University commemorating a prominent person. Applications for such memorials are to be submitted to the Office of Advancement and Alumni for consideration on a case-by-case basis.

(28) The Vice-Chancellor and President can approve the establishment of a physical memorial for any purpose. The exceptions are where it includes the naming of physical property or is for a prominent person then the application should be dealt with under the Naming Policy.

(29) Applications for the establishment of a memorial approved under clauses 27 to 28 must comply with this guideline.

Section 5 - Guidelines

(30) Nil.