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HMVS CERBERUS

Date: 1988
Medium: Wood, brass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Models
Object Name: Model
Object No: 00006368
Place Manufactured:Taehan Min'guk

User Terms

    Description
    A model of Her Majesty's Victorian Ship CERBERUS
    SignificanceThis model represents an important ship of Victoria's colonial navy.
    HistoryThe CERBERUS was ordered in 1868 by the Colony of Victoria in pre-Federation Australia to provide naval protection for Port Phillip. CERBERUS was the first major warship to rely on steam propulsion alone. She was a so-called 'breastwork monitor', her turrets being raised on an armoured breastwork to improve her sea-keeping ability.

    The vessel arrived in Port Phillip in 1871 and never left. Sold for scrap in 1925, she was subsequently sunk as a breakwater in the bay in 1926. Various efforts have been made to raise and preserve her.

    HMVS CERBERUS was included in the National Heritage List on 8 November 2005, pursuant to section 324J of the 'Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999'

    The gazettal notice was dated 14 December 2005; the Schedule read:


    VICTORIA
    Bayside City
    HMVS Cerberus:
    Halfmoon Bay breakwater, just off Black Rock.


    Criterion: Heritage values
    (a) the place has outstanding heritage value to the nation because of the
    place's importance in the course, or pattern, of Australia's natural or cultural history.

    HMVS Cerberus is important as evidence of the development of Australia as a nation and as part of the British Empire. The British Parliament passed the Colonial Naval Defence Act 1865 giving the colonies the power to make laws to provide for their own naval defence.

    The construction of HMVS Cerberus (1867-1870) reflects a period in Australia's history when the colonies were thought vulnerable to coastal attack and invasion. This was especially felt by Victoria, the wealthiest colony, and from which, a significant amount of the wealth from the goldfields was exported.

    The history of the service of HMVS CERBERUS, from 1871 to 1924, illustrates the development of Australia's defensive needs as part of the British Empire and the role of Britain in providing naval expertise and technical assistance to the Australian colonies. The desire of the colonial governments to produce a coordinated defence was one of the major considerations in the move towards federation, and one, which moved the CERBERUS from the Victorian Colonial Navy to the Royal Australian Navy in 1911.

    (b) the place has outstanding heritage value to the nation because of the
    place's possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Australia's natural
    or cultural history.

    HMVS Cerberus was one of only three vessels of its exact type ever built, and is the only surviving example of this type of vessel in the world. It is the only substantially intact, surviving warship of Australia’s pre-Federation colonial navies. HMVS Cerberus was the first British built naval ship in which sailpower was dispensed with and which used steam power alone for propulsion. It was the first ship to have a central superstructure, with gun turrets above deck both fore and aft. It was also the first British designed warship to use low freeboard in the monitor style and the first to have iron breastwork protection.

    HMVS Cerberus, both as an example of Reed’s naval design and a 'monitor style' vessel, is a rare feature of Australia’s maritime and naval history at a time when the defence of the Australian colonies relied on British resources, expertise and technical assistance.
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