Well done Australia c 1918

presented to Private Arthur Reynolds, 7th Battalion, 1st Australian Division in recognition of serious wounds received at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915

Classical representations of women were often used to personify Britain and its colonies—reinforcing an idea that the British Empire was the natural heir of Rome. Women were viewed as agents of civilisation who would rehabilitate brutalised war veterans with love and family life.

Symbolising Australia as a Vestal Virgin was a Eurocentric allusion of the ‘young’ colony’s future promise—ignoring the continent’s ancient indigenous history and geography.


Reviewed 07 February 2022