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N12544 Badge, present to 'Captain Cotterell', gold, issued by Redfern Volunteer Fire Brigade, Redfern, New South Wales, Australia, 1885. Click to enlarge.

'Redfern Volunteer Fire Brigade' badge

Badge, Australia. Fire Brigade, Redfern, 1885, gold (CI)


Object No.


Object Statement

Badge, present to 'Captain Cotterell', gold, issued by Redfern Volunteer Fire Brigade, Redfern, New South Wales, Australia, 1885

Physical Description

Badge, Australia. Fire Brigade, Redfern, 1885, gold (CI)



Local Fire Brigades
There were many disastrous fires in built-up areas during the 19th Century, and the efficiency of the local fire brigades was of paramount importance. A feature of most general sports days in this period, and at local agricultural shows, were displays by local brigades, and inter-brigade competitions. The importance placed on this sector of community service can be seen from the small group of gold award medals displayed.

The Years of Expansion: Social and Cultural Aspects of Life in Colonial New South Wales
During the first decade of settlement, opportunities for cultural and social development and exchange were generally limited to Government officials, prosperous merchants, and the major landholders of the Colony.
The harsh living which otherwise prevailed on the inhabitants (both bond and free) and the social distinction which they brought with them from the British Isles, generally precluded either the opportunity or the inclination for the development of significant cultural or social interests.
For these people, social life generally revolved around the taverns of Sydney Town and Parramatta, and the "grog" shanties of the bush and the minor settlements.
The more settled conditions which began to prevail in the Colony from the first years of the 19th Century, coupled with an increasing flow of free settlers, provided greater opportunities for both cultural and social exchange. By the 1820s, this had produced a strong, locally orientated culture which, whilst it still showed much of its European origins, had evident colonial overtones.
This cultural and social thread was not confined to the major town, and by the middle of the 19th Century was well established in the settled areas of the Colony.
The medals displayed represent a small cross-section of the development of cultural and social activities in the Colony, throughout the 19th Century.
- From Sydney Mint Museum label written by curator, Major HP (Pat) Boland, c1982


Credit Line

Gift of Australian Museum, 1961

Acquisition Date

27 February 1961

Cite this Object


'Redfern Volunteer Fire Brigade' badge 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 September 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title='Redfern Volunteer Fire Brigade' badge |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 September 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


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