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National Museum of Australia

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Star insignia worn by a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George

2007.0094.0004.002

On display

Star insignia worn by a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George

Object information

Physical description

A star insignia of a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (KCMG). The insignia is an eight-pointed silver star formed by one Maltese Cross being superimposed on top of another, and rotated to fill the gaps between the rays of the one beneath. One cross has a faceted texture and the other is cross hatched, which creates the appearance of alternating rays around the star. In the centre, there is a red enamel cross of Saint George. Superimposed on it is a dark blue enamel ring with a gold border bearing the motto of the Order 'AUSPICIUM MELIORIS AEVI' (Latin for "Token of a better age"). Within the ring is a colourful representation of Saint Michael trampling on Satan. The back has a hinged pin fastener.

Statement of significance

The Sir Littleton Groom collection consists of eleven objects relating to the political career and achievements of this long-serving Australian federal politician, Minister and Speaker of the House of Representatives. These items include gifts given to Sir Littleton Groom, commemorative medallions, items relating to the conferring of his knighthood and souvenirs.

Sir Littleton Ernest Groom was an administrative and constitutional lawyer and a federal politician who held office as a Member of the House of Representatives (1901-1929) and as Speaker of the House of Representatives (1926-1929). As a politician he was a protectionist and a strong nationalist. Many of the causes and issues he took up in the course of his parliamentary life were directed towards national development and the assertion of Commonwealth power over the States. In his various Ministerial roles Sir Littleton Groom negotiated with the States over the federal capital site, was instrumental in establishing a Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics and drafted and carried through the Parliament legislation for the provision of old age and invalid pensions. As Minister for External Affairs he presented a bill to provide for an Australian High Commissioner in London and he held the portfolio of Attorney-General for four years from 1921, during which time he extended the industrial powers of the Commonwealth and introduced a public service superannuation scheme. Groom was an enthusiastic supporter of the war effort, and served as assistant Minister for Defence and later as Vice-President of the Executive Council. Sir Littleton Groom was knighted in 1924, made Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1926, and presided over the first parliamentary sittings in the new Parliament House in Canberra.

Physical description

On display at the National Museum of Australia.

Object information

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