The Melbourne Centenary was a 1934 centennial celebration of the founding of the city of Melbourne, Australia.
The milestone was reached during the Great Depression, and as such, most Melburnians did not feel they had much to cheer about. Organisers responded to this by presenting an image of the city in the mould of a conservative "Britain of the Southern Hemisphere". Melbourne's founder, John Batman, was promoted as an heroic icon in an effort to embody the rewarding aspects of self-improvement.
As the centenary committee which organised events was entirely male, a Women's Centenary Council was established to ensure women's opinions were heard. This council was responsible for planning, funding and constructing the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden in Kings Domain.
As part of the centenary, MacPherson Robertson, the confectionery icon, suggested that an air race should be organised from London to Melbourne. The MacRobertson Centenary Air Race was duly organised and attracted international entries from many well known fliers of the day. The Great Air Race started at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, England, and 2 days, 23 hours, 18 seconds later, at 3.34 pm, on 23 October 1934, the de Havilland DH.88 Comet, "Grosvenor House", piloted by C.W.A. Scott and Tom Campbell Black, crossed the finish line at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, winning the speed section of the great race. Second and third places were taken by American-made Boeing 247s and Douglas DC-2s.