Bust, John Sterndale; Babette Forster-Gomme; 1985; 2009.10


Port Macquarie Museum


Bust, John Sterndale

About this object

This bronze bust of John Sterndale [1923 – 1995] Mayor of Hastings Council 1984-85 was created by then Hastings resident and artist Babette Forster – Gomme in 1985. The artist chose Mr Sterndale as her subject because of what she describes as his ‘strong face’.

It is the only sculpture in the collection created by an artist residing in the Hastings area at the time it was created. It records Mayor Sterndale in a graphic yet alternate way to the usual mayoral photographs featuring the mayor wearing mayoral robes and chain. This sculpture is very much about John Sterndale the man and illustrates his strength of character through his facial features that the artist was so keen to record.

The bust is quite detailed and evidences the time the artist took to complete her work, which included six personal sittings by Mr Sterndale.

The artist Babette Forster-Gomme has developed into a recognized Australian sculptor whose work is now commissioned by many private and public collectors. This sculpture was created by the artist for her own use. The artist continues to hold the original sculpture in her private collection and this duplicate copy was given to Mr Sterndale as a gift.

This sculpture provides an insight into the characteristics artists look for when deciding on a subject of their own choosing. John Sterndale served only one four year term on Hastings Municipal Council from 1983-1987. Perhaps voters in Council elections of 1983 also chose John Sterndale on the basis of his strong facial features interpreting them as someone of strong character and high integrity.

This sculpture is an enduring tribute to a local alderman and recognizes the efforts of John Sterndale and those Aldermen who have served their communities before him.

Debbie Sommers
7 December 2014


Babette Forster-Gomme

Maker Role


Date Made


Medium and Materials

Clay, bronze


410mmH, 200mmW

Subject and Association Keywords

Political processes

Credit Line

Donor: Theres Sterndale

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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