Summary

Australia
Inauguration of Australian Commonwealth (AD)
Mint: not recorded
Australian Natives Association
Geelong
Other Details: Medal issued by the Australian Natives' Association to commemorate the inauguration of Commonwealth in 1901. The Australian Natives' Association was formed in Melbourne in 1871. Its focus was political. Composed of native-born Australians, it aimed to develop a direction for Australia that was independent of Britain, and to develop quality educational facilities for native Australians, who appeared to be disadvantaged by a lack of British education. It was a vocal supporter of Federation. The ANA spread to all Australian states and eventually New Zealand. Its non-political activities came to include cultural events, personal sponsorships and even support for the development of Australian football. Following Federation it adopted causes including national defence, the White Australia policy, railway expansion and nature conservation.

Obverse Description

Shields of each State joined by ribbon around Australian Arms with kangaroo and emu supporters; around on wide rim, THE AUSTRALIAN COMMONWEALTH

Reverse Description

At centre within line circle, TO / COMMEMORATE/ THE / INAUGURATION / OF THE / AUSTRALIAN / COMMONWEALTH / JAN. 1 1901; around, AUSTRALIAN NATIVES ASSN. * GEELONG BRANCH No. 55 *

Edge Description

Plain

Significance

Friendly or mutual benefit societies developed in Great Britain in the seventeenth century, generally based around communities of interest. They first appeared in Australia in the 1840s-50s. The Australian Natives' Association was formed in Melbourne in 1871. Its focus was political. Composed of native-born Australians, it aimed to develop a direction for Australia that was independent of Britain, and to develop quality educational facilities for native Australians, who appeared to be disadvantaged by a lack of British education. It was a vocal supporter of Federation. The ANA spread to all Australian states and eventually New Zealand. Its non-political activities came to include cultural events, personal sponsorships and even support for the development of Australian football. Following Federatioin it adopted causes including national defence, the White Australia policy, railway expansion and nature conservation. -Melvin Williams, 'A Very Australian Friendly Society'. NMAA Journal. 8: 59-64. -D. Tout-Smith 12/9/2003.

More Information