By Lena Daskalakis

    There is not much the community tends to get behind without debate, but when word got out that Millennium Man of Sunshine Marketplace fame would be dismantled, the people of the west stood up to save him from the scrap heap.

    Last week property management company Vicinity Centres released a statement saying that Sunshine Marketplace’s Millennium Man was being removed due to the “irreparable damage caused by weather and the elements over the last two decades”. There was debate as to whether he was repairable, however Alfons van Maanen from Big Fish in Footscray – the original creators of Millennium Man back in 1996 – confirmed he was beyond repair, with major corrosion and issues to the fibre glass and steel structure.

    He represents my youth,
    I want to help save him if I can.
    Carla from Sunshine

    Originally commissioned by Village Cinemas he was only intended to last five years, so every year he survived after that really cemented him in our hearts. He isn’t even gone yet but is being fondly remembered by locals.

    Regardless of your taste, the Millennium Man is a part of the local community. He is Sunshine’s version of Flinders street clocks, and the perfect billboard for Sunshine as the safest meeting place to purchase goods bought on local buy swap sell sites, and easiest place to meet friends before catching a movie.

    He isn’t my cup of tea art wise but he is so much a part of the area now, it would be a shame to see him go.
    Michael from Braybrook

    Just as the sculpture was being gated off for imminent removal, the community flooded Vicinity with calls and emails to help with a temporary reprieve. This grace period not only allowed people to take photos and reflect on what the structure meant to them, it gave enough time for key community members to work out a plan to save him.

    In the end Vicinity have agreed to carry out a 3D scan, which this will preserve his exact image. Big Fish, who recommended the 3D scan said it was important because elements of him were hand carved and those fine details would never be able to be duplicated if he was to be rebuilt.

    So watch this space, Millennium Man may be disappearing, but with the help of the community he could be back bigger and better than ever.

    Photo by Miz Phanny. @miz_phanny_photography.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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