The Peter MacCallum Christmas Ornament: a project in the spirit of the season

This year, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre partnered with Cobalt to create a decorative ornament to be hung on the Government House Christmas Tree. When Peter Mac approached Cobalt for the partnership, we were thrilled to provide our experience and expertise completely pro-bono, in the spirit of the giving season.

Two Peter Mac patients; Anastasia and Chianna worked directly alongside Cobalt to bring their ideas to life. They put their passions for design and creativity to work, brainstorming ideas and concepts that truly represented Peter Mac’s services and facilities, and we at Cobalt in turn provided our resources and experience with product development and manufacturing to help make the ornament a reality.

The key concept behind the ornament was “Soft on the inside; hard on the outside,” representing how patients at Peter Mac can feel both fragile and supported at the same time. The glass bauble is filled with swirling feathers and reflective curves, symbolising the fog of treatment and the introspection patients can encounter during their difficult times. The ornament is topped by a large, angular cap, representing and inspired by Peter Mac and their purple branding.

“Our first reaction was to think like professional designers,” says Cobalt principal Steve Martinuzzo, who lead the project, “but after our first working meeting we realised our role was to facilitate what Chiana and Anastasia wanted to do.”

“They had some insightful themes they wanted to convey. One was how they experienced both fragility and strength. They also wanted to explore the notion of reflection; how we all see things differently through the prism of cancer.”

To support Anastasia and Chiana’s ideas, Cobalt used their experience and resources to help bring their concepts to life. The bauble is topped with a 3D printed cap, specifically designed to represent Peter Mac and their resources. The internal mirror symbolising the idea of ‘reflection’ has been crafted into a spiral shape, twisting the clouded feathers inside the clear glass sphere.

We at Cobalt are very proud to have been given the opportunity to work on such a meaningful project, and we’re overjoyed to have shared this experience with Anastasia and Chianna. The ornament was presented to the governor on Friday the 15th, and will be hung for all to see on the Government House Christmas Tree.