The latest addition to Ballarat’s historic and distinguished Prime Ministers Avenue was unveiled in the presence of former leader Tony Abbott on Monday morning.
Mr Abbott’s bust was presented to the community at a ceremony that marked the first time one of the artworks has been sculpted by a woman.
It is the 28th bust to be unveiled at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
Sydney-based artist Linda Klarfeld spent an hour and half with her subject in order to produce his likeness in the form of a bronze sculpture.
Mr Abbott said his time in the nation’s top job had been marked by argument, but time would allow people to remember all the achievements of his government.
“Given the controversies I have endured over the years it is nice to see a happy, smiling 28th Prime Minister of Australia,” he said.
“All prime ministers strive to make our country better,” he said,
“Pollie bashing is Australia’s national sport and unlike cricket and football it goes all year round.
“I had two years as prime minister and quite a lot was achieved I am proud to join such company and I hope the company living and dead are happy to have me.”
The Prime Ministers Avenue was officially opened by the Victorian Governor Sir Winston Dugan on March 2, 1940.
He unveiled the busts of the first six Australia leaders.
The first twelve busts were a gift to the people of Ballarat from prominent benefactor and MP Richard Armstrong Crouch.
Mr Crouch left a bequest to ensure it continued after his death.
However it was revealed Mr Crouch’s fund to create the busts had run out of cash in 2014 following the unveiling of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s bust.
Ballarat City Council stepped in to ensure Mr Abbott’s bust was added.
Ms Klarfeld said she had found Mr Abbott to be a charismatic and intelligent subject.
“Mr Abbott has a wonderful face to sculpt,” she said.
“You’ll not only see the prime minister in the bust, but also the person.”