Relief Model of Antarctica, 1934


Documented by Laurie McLean, June 2020


Relief model of Antarctica, prepared by the Department of Interior, Canberra ACT, 1934.

Photograph taken at exhibition of model in Kings Hall, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT on 1st August 1934

(Image provided by Dr Bruce Ryley, grandson of Percy Bayliss FRGS (1887-1957) - National Mapping's First Chief Cartographer 1947-1950.)


A biographical article of Edward Percival Bayliss, National Mapping's First Chief Cartographer, featured on What's New in December 2019 and can be accessed at this link. Recently Percy's grandson, anaesthetist Dr Bruce Ryley, kindly provided the above and other images of interest that will shortly be used to update the article on his grandfather.


Related press clipping of the era


The Age (Melbourne), Thursday 2 August 1934, page 8,


News of the Day - Unique Map of Antarctica

In King's Hall, Canberra, the first relief map to be compiled of the recently acquired Australian possessions in the Antarctic is being exhibited by courtesy of Sir MacPherson Robertson, who bore the cost of its construction by the Lands and Survey department (sic). It will be displayed in Melbourne during the Centenary. The map is made of cork and fibrous plaster in thirteen sections. It is 11 feet in diameter, 3 feet deep, and is set on a platform 2 feet high under the glare of a 2000-candle power light. The predominating features of this great white possession, embracing 2,400,000 square miles, is clearly shown. The map should, therefore, prove an invaluable asset to the geographical records of the Commonwealth.


The Advertiser (Adelaide), Thursday 2 August 1934, page 10,


News in Brief - Map of Antarctica

Canberra:A huge relief map of the Antarctic Continent, 1.010 (sic) feet in diameter, circular and convex in shape, and made of painted wood, constructed at the expense of Sir MacPherson Robertson, is being exhibited in the Kings Hall, Parliament House, Canberra. It is expected that the map, which was made for the proposed Centenary marine exhibition, will be presented to the National Museum.



Victorian Centenary Celebrations
Held between October 1934 and June 1935, the Victorian Centenary celebrations commemorated Edward Henty's settlement at Portland in November 1834 and John Batman's pronouncement of Port Phillip as the place for a village, that saw Melbourne's foundation in June 1835. A Centenary Celebrations Council coordinated over 300 events across Victoria, including Centenary editions of the Royal Agricultural Show, the Melbourne Cup and other sporting events.


Mac Robertson funded a number of public works around Melbourne for the Centenary, including Mac Robertson Girls High School, the Grange Road bridge over the Yarra, a new Herbarium in the Domain and the Mac Robertson Fountain in the Domain.