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Bronze bust of former PM Tony Abbott unveiled at Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Andrew Jefferson, June 5, 2017 6:00PM Herald Sun

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FORMER Prime Minister, the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, has visited Ballarat’s Botanical Gardens to unveil a bronze bust of himself — the latest addition to Ballarat’s famed Prime Ministers Avenue.

The official unveiling ceremony started at 9.30am on Monday, June 5, at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

Mr Abbott, who was Prime Minister between 2013 and 2015, said he was happy with the work of Sydney-based sculptor Linda Klarfeld.

“I think she’s done a fine job, she’s presented a rather flattering side of me,” he said.

Tony Abbott MP walking along Prime Ministers Avenue. Picture: Mark Stewart
media_cameraTony Abbott MP walking along Prime Ministers Avenue. Picture: Mark Stewart

“In the end it is important to appreciate that just about everyone in public life is there for the right reasons.”

Located in Ballarat’s beautiful and historic Botanical Gardens, Prime Ministers Avenue is a feature of national significance*, displaying bronze portrait busts of each of the previous Prime Ministers of Australia.

Mr Abbott’s portrait was the 28th to be added to the Avenue.

“I am proud to be joining such company and I hope the company, both living and dead, is happy at the new addition,” Mr Abbott said.

Julia Gillard with her statue. Picture: Sarah Matray
media_cameraJulia Gillard with her statue. Picture: Sarah Matray

The Avenue was officially opened by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Winston Dugan on March 2, 1940, who unveiled the busts of the first six Prime Ministers of Australia: Edmund Barton, Alfred Deakin, Chris Watson, George Reid, Andrew Fisher and Joseph Cook.

The first 12 busts in Prime Ministers Avenue were a gift to the people of Ballarat from prominent local benefactor* and Member of Parliament, Richard Armstrong Crouch who left a further bequest* to ensure the continuation of the Avenue after his death.

Ballarat City Council is now in charge of making sure the busts are completed.

Former PM Sir Robert Menzies. Picture: supplied
media_cameraFormer PM Sir Robert Menzies. Picture: supplied

This year, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens is celebrating 160 years since it was established.

GLOSSARY

significance: importance
benefactor:
person who gives money or things for a cause

bequest: given object

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1. Prime Ministers Avenue

After reading the article, tell me what you’ve learned about the following key points in the article:

What is Prime Ministers Avenue? How did it start and how does it keep up to date?

What can you tell me about the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and why the sculptures are there?

Extension:

What is a bequest?

Who or what would you leave money to in the future and why?

Time: Allow 15 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English, History

Activity 2. Fine art

Imagine you had to be represented as a bronze bust, like the former prime ministers.
Sketch a design of yourself, from the shoulders up, that a sculptor could then turn into a 3D representation.

Extension:

Research the work of Mr Abbott’s sculptor Linda Klarfeld.

What other work has she done?

Do you like her sculptures?

Time: Allow 40 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: Visual Arts, History, Design and Technologies

VCOP ACTIVITY

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)

Alliteration is where you use the same sound or letters are used close together in a phrase or sentence.

Eg: The snake slithered silently through the sand or the bronze bust in Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Write a sentence with alliteration about a popular area/object/icon or landmark at school or in your community.

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write, VCOP

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