This medal for Life Saving was created by the Victorian Humane Society 1874 as an award for those who saved lives after a shipwreck. The medal was the work of Julius Hogarth, a Sydney silversmith and engraver who came to Melbourne hoping to get work at the Melbourne Mint. This particular medal was not awarded, but was collected by one of the first Victorian medal collectors to take an interest in local work, George McArthur of Maldon. The Victorian Humane Society was founded the year this medal was issued. In 1882 it became 'The Royal Humane Society of Australasia', the first federal institution in Australia. The first object of the Society was to bestow an award upon people who risked their lives to save others; the second object was to assist recipients who were disadvantaged or disabled as a result of their brave actions, or to assist their surviving dependents. Initially the Society also arranged swimming and lifesaving training, but other organisations later took over this role. For many years the Society was located in the Old Customs House, Flinders Street, Melbourne.

Obverse Description

Scene of man saving woman or child from burning and sinking ship; VICTORIAN HUMANE SOCIETY ; In the Exergue:ESTD 1874/STOKES & MARTIN MELBOURNE; in the field at sides of shell: J H;

Reverse Description

VIRTUTE PARATUM within a wreath ; weakly struck at 06 : T S

Edge Description



This medal was issued the year that the Victorian Humane Society was founded. Faringdon-Davis, John. 1984. The Royal Humane Society. Australian Numismatist. 5 (August): 2-15. -D. Tout-Smith 19/9/2003.

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