A gold fob medal won by James Anderson at the Austral Competition, Bendigo, in 1904, probably for elocution. He also won a medal for elocution at the South Street Competition, Ballarat, in 1905. James Anderson became a professional elocutionist. He married another elocutionist, Gertrude Lewis. They lived and taught elocution in Adelaide.

Physical Description

A voided gold medal on a woven metal ribbon worn as a fob piece (34 * 175 mm) featuring a music stand

Obverse Description

At centre of gold ring wcich is attached to a woven metal ribbon, a scroll on which a music holder is mounted; around on ring, CHAMPION AUSTRAL COMPETITIONS BENDIGO 1904; below ring on ribbon, PALMAM QUI MERUIT FERAT

Reverse Description

Inscribed Won by J. ANDERSON

Edge Description



In 1905 William Murdoch, son of Andrew Murdoch, was awarded the Bendigo Austral scholarship. This entitled him to three years' tuition at the Melbourne university conservatorium of music. In 1906 Murdoch won the Clarke scholarship which entitled him to three years' tuition at the Royal college of music, London. As the scholarship was not large enough to fully provide for the young man, it was agreed that he should receive the balance of his Austral scholarship. -Australian Dictionary of Biography. -D. Tout-Smith 27/2/2004.

This medal appears related to the Austral Salon of Music, Literature and the Arts, founded by a group of women journalists in Melbourne as a club for women writers. It developed into a club for artistic and intellectual women interested in any of the fine arts.The Salon was one of the first four groups to affiliate with the National Council of Women of Victoria in 1902. Many artists who later became prominent were first heard at the Austral Salon, including Ada Crossley, Amy Castles, Nellie Melba, Florence Autral, Marjorie Lawrence, Denise Dowling and Tilly Ashton. It was later broadened to cover both genders. The Salon continues it main aim of encouraging young artists by awarding scholarships and hosting student performances. Austral Salon scholarships are still available in the 21st century. -Australian Women's Archives Project database -D. Tout-Smith 27/2/2004.

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