A century ago, on 28 June 1919, the First World War was formally concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The document was the first political treaty signed by the Commonwealth of Australia.
As part of peace commemorations, the government issued this medalet – held in the Australian War Memorial collection – to the nation’s school children.
Designed by Victorian sculptor C. Douglas Richardson, “The Peace of 1919” medalet features a symbolic female figure of peace holding a sword and standing on a plinth marked “Peace 1919”, with “Australia” inscribed below. Behind her flies a pair of doves, and at her left and right are two figures freed from their shackles.
The reverse features a central panel surrounded by laurel leaves, surmounted by the King's Crown with the word “Victory” over the rays of the rising sun. A sailor and a soldier stand at ease on either side of the panel on which is cast “The Triumph of Liberty and Justice”.