Summary

Note: This object includes elements appropriated from First Peoples culture and heritage, as well as white superiority messaging. Such attitudes and beliefs are not condoned by Museums Victoria which considers them to be racist. Historical distance and context does not excuse or erase this fact.

Gilt and emamel badge inscribed 'MY COUNTRY FIRST ' on white map of Australia, and inscribed 'PROTECT ITS INDUSTRIES ' and 'BUY ITS GOODS' on boomerangs. Made by Stokes and Sons, Melbourne, circa 1930s.

The frequent use of a white map of Australia as the iconography for badges, medals, published materials and more, reinforced the desire of governments and organisations to create a trade-protected, white, predominantly British population. It also erases any presence of First Peoples and their rights, heritage, culture and sovereignty.

The badge supports the protection of Australian industries, a common sentiment around the time of Federation and reflected in Commonwealth Government policy. It was possibly produced as part of the campaign by the Australian Natives' Association to promote Australia-made goods. The Australian Natives' Association was established in Melbourne in 1871 as a non-partisan and non-sectarian friendly society for Australian-born, white men seeking to shape Australia's nationhood and identity. The ANA was a strong advocate for Federation and became an advocate for White Australia. It was a staunch supporter of trade protection and immigration restriction, and Prime Minister Alfred Deakin was a member.

Physical Description

Gilt and enamel badge featuring six-pointed star-shaped with white map of mainland Australia in centre. Black boomerangs are positioned at top and bottom of star.

Obverse Description

"MY COUNTRY FIRST " in gilt on white map of Australia, "PROTECT ITS INDUSTRIES " AND "BUY ITS GOODS" in gilt on boomerangs.

Reverse Description

Stamped " STOKES & SONS / MELB" on reverse.

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