All about that mace!

December 16 / 189

Anyone who has graduated from the University of Melbourne or attended a graduation ceremony will be familiar with our imposing ceremonial mace. 

Carried before the processional party by the Esquire Bedell or official mace-bearer, the mace represents the authority of the University Chancellor – who grants the University’s degrees – and is based on centuries of tradition.

The tradition hails from a time when an actual mace – a serious piece of weaponry – was carried before a sovereign by a sergeant-at-arms, who was ready to protect the royal person from assault.

Prominent Australian gold and silversmith Stuart Devlin, who also designed the very first decimal currency coins for Australia (as well as currency of 30 countries around the world), designed the University of Melbourne mace.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the currency, the mace, which is also 50 this year, will be packed up and sent off to Canberra after the final graduation for the year on 16 December, to join an exhibition of Devlin’s work at the Royal Australian Mint. 

'The Designer with the Midas Touch' opens December 16.


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