The Gallery of Medals is about the service and sacrifice of Victorians in war and peacekeeping operations from the Boer War (1899-1902) to the present. The service of 400,000 Victorian men and women is symbolised by the service medals that have been awarded to military personnel of all ranks, and civilians who have contributed strong support to military activities.
Wall of medals
A set of 22 replica medals, representative of service medals awarded to Australians by the British, Australian and South Vietnamese Governments, are repeated to make over 4,000 medals in the 40 metre long wall. Each medal represents 100 Victorians who have served in military and peacekeeping operations and six who lost their lives.
Of the 24,000 Victorians who have lost their lives in service some 19,000 died in the First World War (1914-18).
The gallery contains an interpretive panel of 44 authentic service medals arranged in the order of their creation. They are displayed with a timeline indicating the major conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have served up to the present day
The British Government has awarded medals for service in military campaigns to all ranks since the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The earliest award to honour the service of Victorians went to those who travelled to the Maori War in New Zealand, 1860–66.
Service awards to Australians continued to be made by the British Government until 1975, with the exception of the first distinctly Australian campaign medal, the Australian Service Medal 1939–45. Australian awards were initiated in 1975 when the Order of Australia was constituted. The medals are arranged in order of creation.
Reviewed 25 November 2020