Historical information

White metal medal issued to commemorate Melbourne’s centenary 1934-35. This medal was given out to Victorian school children; 325,600 white metal medals were struck. The medal references Portland, the location of Victoria’s first settlement. The Henty brothers, entrepreneur farmers and whalers, established the state’s first permanent European settlement in Portland in 1834. Melbourne was established the following year by a party of settlers led by John Batman. In 1934, as Melbourne planned to celebrate the centenary of European settlement, it seemed to some that there was little to celebrate. The financial strains of the depression, unemployment and the scandal of the city’s slums all undercut claims of unbridled progress. Perhaps because of such troubles, the organisers of the centenary celebrations tried doubly hard to be positive. The themes of the celebrations were conservative, reflecting the desire of some Melburnians for security in troubled times. The widely promoted image of the ‘Garden City’ and ‘Queen City of the South’ emphasised the idea of Melbourne as a very British city.

Physical description

White metal badge

Inscriptions & markings

Centenary of Melbourne