Bronze medal awarded by Professional Officers' Association to Dr. Philip Law in 1957. Designed by Andor Meszaros and minted by Pinches, London.

Dr Phillip Law led Australia's scientific expeditions to Antarctica from the late 1940s, was the first Director of the Australian Antarctic Division and was responsible for the establishment of Australia's Antarctic stations and sub-antarctic station on Macquarie Island. The medal was designed by renowned medallist Andor Meszaros. He used both sides of the medal to depict the two elements of successful management: planning (represented by an old man contemplating a piece of mineral) and action (a young man with plans overseeing construction). As in many of Andor's medals, the use of nude figures in this piece reflects his classical training.

The Professional Officers' Association, Commonwealth Public Service, was a union formed federally in 1917. It continued until 1975, when it became the Professional Officers' Association, Australian Public Service.
According to the P.O.A. Chronicle , the design depicts " the thinker pondering over the natural world of river, mountains and sky. Within them he perceives possibilities , and he sees visions. On the reverse stands the man of action, in full vigour of manhood, with his working drawings his hands. The same river winds across the landscape, with a background of the structures he has brought into being. The caption "Vestiga et confice" has a meaning in accord with the scenes it accompanies; " Search into and then bring into Fruition". This illustrates the dual nature of the professional man, who studies the possibilities of his raw material and then carries his operation to completion."

Physical Description

Medal in round timber case with separate lid. Lower part of case appears to be designed as a display mount.

Obverse Description

Male nude holding drawing board (?). City scene in background with high-rise buildings, ship and bridge. Inscribed across centre CONFI / CE . Inscribed lower right, PROFESSIONAL / OFFICERS / ASSOCIATION. Artist's signature and 1957 on lower left.

Reverse Description

In foreground, bearded male figure seated on stool, wearing loincloth, examining rock. Mountainous scenery in background. Inscribed across centre: VESTI / GA / ET Artist's signature and 1957 on lower left.

Edge Description



For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.

More Information