Historical information

This financial report was written by the Manager of Warrnambool's branch of the Bank of Australasia, Samuel Hannaford. The branch was established in 1854 and this report was written on April 16th 1855. The report on the form's front shows the Bank's Assets and Liabilities at that date and the handwritten summary on the back includes other figures including the Net Profit.

The form was printed at the printing office of the local newspaper, the 'Examiner', by the well-known local businessman, R. Osborne (Richard).

The Bank of Australasia was incorporated by the Royal Charter of England in March 1834. The bank began in Australia on 14th December 1835, opening in Sydney. The Acting Superintendent of the bank at that time was David Charters McArthur. He was Superintendent from 1867-to 1876. The Melbourne branch opened on 28th August 1838 in a two-roomed brick cottage on the north side of Little Collins Street, where two huge mastiff dogs were used at night to guard the bank. The government also provided an armed military sentinel. Due to the bank's rapid growth, a new building for the Melbourne branch was opened in 1840 at 75 Collins Street West. By 1879 the bank had been upgraded to a magnificent two-storey building on the corners of Collins and Queens Streets, with the entry on Collins Street.

In 1951 the Bank of Australasia amalgamated with the Union Bank to form Australia and New Zealand Bank, now known as the ANZ. Then in 1970, the ANZ merged with both the ES&A and the London Bank of Australia to form the ANZ Banking Group Limited. The ANZ Banking Group Ltd kindly donated a variety of historic items from the Bank of Australasia.


In 1854 Warrnambool had two banks, the Union Bank and the Bank of Australasia. Later, completely different bank businesses opened; in 1867 the National Bank of Australasia, then in 1875 the Colonial Bank of Australasia. The original Warrnambool branch of the Bank of Australasia was established in July 1854, and operated from a leased cottage on Merri Street, close to Liebig Street. The bank later bought a stone building previously erected by drapers Cramond & Dickson on the corner of Timor and Gibson Streets. Samuel Hannaford was a teller and then Manager at the Warrnambool branch from 1855 to 1856 and the Warrnambool Council chose that bank for its dealings during 1856-57. In 1859 Roberts & Co. was awarded the contract to build the new Bank of Australasia branch for the sum of £3,000. The land was on a sand hill on the northeast corner of Timor and Kepler Streets and had been bought in 1855 from investor James Cust. The new building opened on May 21, 1860. The bank continued to operate there until 1951 when it merged with the Union Bank to form the ANZ Bank, which continued operating from its Liebig Street building. Warrnambool City Council purchased the former Bank of Australasia building in 1971 and renovated it, then on 3rd December 1973 it was officially opened as the Art Gallery by Cr. Harold Stephenson and Gallery Director John Welsh. The Gallery transferred to the purpose-built building in Liebig Street in 1986 and the old bank building is now the Gallery club.

Staff at the Bank of Australasia in Warrnambool included the following men but others were also involved: Samuel Hannaford, Teller then Manager from 1855-1856; W H Palmer, Manager from January 1857 until November 1869 when the Teller Basil Spence was promoted to Manager; H B Chomley, Manager from April 1873 and still there in 1886; A Butt, Manager in 1895-1904; J R McCleary Accountant and Acting Manager for 12 months, until 1900; A Kirk, Manager 1904; J Moore, staff until his transfer to Bendigo in December 1908; J S Bath was Manager until 1915; C C Cox, Manager until April 1923; Richard C Stanley, Manager 1923 to April 1928.


This financial record for Warrnambool's branch of the Bank of Australasia has great historical significance as it is likely to be fhe first statement of Assets and Liabilities of the Bank's branch, which was established in Warrnambool in 1854. The report is signed by the Bank's first manager, Samuel Hannaford.

The record's form is significant for its connection with the printer's office, the 'Examiner' which was an early local enterprise established in 1851. The printer, Richard Osborne, was a very involved community member and his name is well known even today. One of his publications, The History of Warrnambool, is a well-used local history reference.

The report is significant for its association with the Bank of Australasia in Warrnambool, the first bank in Warrnambool. The bank continued to operate until its merger in 1951 when it became the ANZ Bank, which is still in operation today. The Bank was an integral part of the establishment and growth of commerce in Colonial Warrnambool and throughout Australia.

Physical description

Report on a pre-printed form, white paper and black ink. Completed report of the Bank of Australasia, Warrnambool Branch, of the Bank's Assets and Liabilities as of 16th April 1855. On the reverse is a column of handwritten figures with a heading, For the half year to 16th April 1855. Signatures are on the front, including Samuel Hannaford, Manager.
The form was printed at the 'Examiner' office in Warrnambool by R. Osborne.

Inscriptions & markings

"Warrnambool 16th April 1855", Total Assets "£83,.925.9.1.", Total Liabilities "£26,181.3.0"
"For the half year to 16th April 1855" "Drafts on London" "do Drafts on Branches" "British Bills Remitted" "Net Profit" of "£3,106.12.4", "Average Capital Employed"