William Ricketts Sanctuary, Victoria Australia.

William Ricketts Sanctuary. Victoria, Australia.

On the outskirts of Melbourne, the William Ricketts Sanctuary is a serene, mystical haven set in the verdant forest of the Dandenong Ranges. 

William Ricketts (1898–1993) was a potter, sculptor and Aboriginal and ecological spiritualist. Described by Ricketts as “The Forest of Love” the Sanctuary represents his profound kinship with Aboriginal Australians, his reverence of the natural environment and disgust of the destructive attitude of white colonists towards Australian flora and fauna. 

Life is Love. All you to all me, for being part of nature, we are all brothers to the birds and trees.

William Ricketts.

Meandering paths bordered by soaring Mountain Ash Trees and green ferny rainforest gently take visitors on a sacred, uplifting journey through an open-air gallery of roughly 100 sculptures of Australian Aboriginal people and wildlife lovingly crafted by Ricketts into the natural landscape. 

Aboriginal people represented in his sculptures are attributed to his experiences living in central Australia during the 1950s in which he spent time with the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte nations.

 Opened in 1964, the sanctuary is free to enter and is one of the key attractions of the Dandenong Ranges, which a set of low mountain ranges roughly 600 metres above sea level. 

The complete William Ricketts Sanctuary image gallery.

Author: Steven Sklifas

Freelance Writer and Photographer

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