Song of AustraliaPrint Page Print this page

22-June-2020 (Stephen Warren)
22-June-2020 (Stephen Warren)

Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson / Bryan Cole / Stephen Warren

The plaque commemorates the centenary celebrations of the "Song of Australia ". 

In 1859 the Gawler Institute offered a prize of ten guineas for a national song, one prize for lyrics and the other for music. Caroline Carleton wrote the words of Song of Australia sitting on a bench in West Terrace cemetery (Adelaide) with her children playing nearby. She asked Carl Linger the Berlin-born music teacher, composer and conductor to set it to music and they won both prizes.

The song was first sung in public at Gawler in December in 1859.  The song subsequently became a quasi-national anthem, and until the 1960's it was sung widely at public events and by children at school assemblies in South Australia as a demonstration of national pride.


Address:91 Murray Street, Gawler Institute Building, Gawler, 5118
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.599428
Long: 138.749847
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:28-October-1859
Actual Event End Date:28-October-1959


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 28th October, 1959
Front Inscription

There is a land where summer skies

Song of Australia

Words: Caroline Carleton
Music: Carl Linger

A competition for a national song was conducted by the Gawler Institute in 1859

From 96 entries in the lyric section and 23 entries in the musical section the "Song of Australia" selected as the best was first sung in public at Gawler on 12th December 1859

This plaque commemorates the Centenary celebrations

28th October 1959

Celebration Committee

Chairman : Mayor of Gawler Louis Ey. J. P. 
President Institute Committee Noel Mclean
Librarian H. A. Heinrich
Honorary Secretary John H. Chambers

Source: MA,NRUM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au