Note: This description below includes 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.
Aluminium and brass medal featuring outline of Australia in aluminium with the inscription in cast relief 'WHITE AUSTRALIA'. Australia is held within a brass circle, inscribed 'AUSTRALIA FOR THE AUSTRALIANS'. The reverse die is cracked. Probably made around 1910.
The medal was commissioned by the Australian Natives' Association, in an expression of support for the 'White Australia' policy. The White Australia policy, which severely restricted entry of non-British immigrants, and denied the rights and sovereignty of First Peoples, was a key expression of the new nation's identity. Tariff protection and immigration restrictions were considered essential to the survival of a European nation at the edge of Asia and the Pacific. The medal employed the metal aluminium to visually proclaim that Australia should be white. 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 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.
Aluminium medal featuring outline of Australia with inscription in cast relief. Australia is held within a brass circle, also inscribed. Small decorative scroll across top, pierced with ring at top for hanging. The reverse die is cracked across both border and insert.
At centre an aluminium insert map of Australia; across, WHITE / AUSTRALIA; around on brass, ooo AUSTRALIA FOR THE AUSTRALIANS
on map, PROTECTION; around on border, ooo POPULATION . PRODUCTION . PROGRESS The reverse die is cracked across both border and insert.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
circa 1910 AD
Obverse: at centre an aluminium outline of Australia; 'WHITE / AUSTRALIA'; around on brass, 'ooo AUSTRALIA FOR THE AUSTRALIANS' Reverse: on map, 'PROTECTION'; around on border, 'ooo POPULATION . PRODUCTION . PROGRESS'.
Brass and Aluminium
Type of item
Exhibition Collection Management
23 mm (Width), 32 mm (Height)
23 * 30