Established in 1979 to perpetuate the education legacy of Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, the Menzies Foundation has a vision to inspire and nurture Australia’s future leaders.
As a national, non-profit organisation, the Foundation has awarded more than 220 prestigious scholarships to bright and inspiring young Australians. It has also invested over $9 million in four health and medical research institutes and supported a range of other legacy activities in line with Sir Robert’s passions.
From 2018, the Menzies Foundation will continue to invest in visionary and inspirational Australian leaders, focusing on three key areas:
- new investment to identify and support the development of entrepreneurial leaders to harness and exploit new opportunities from innovation in science and technology
- new investment in school-based education leaders (eg: principals) from all sectors and systems who have the capacity to revolutionise student learning
- continued investment in international law specialists who can help shape Australia’s response to increasingly complex global issues.
Board Appointments Sub Committee
The Board Appointments Sub-Committee was formed in 2014 and ensures the Menzies Foundation has a robust and transparent process to appoint honorary Directors to the Board.
The members of the Board Appointments Sub-Committee are:
- Mr Peter Jopling AM QC, Acting Chair
- Ms Diana Menzies
- Mr Terry Moran AC
- Dr John Stocker AO
- Ms Liz Gillies, CEO
Investment and Finance Committee
The Foundation's Investment and Finance Committee meets four times a year to make strategic decisions as to the management of the Foundation's corpus. The committee reports to the Board, via the Treasurer.
The members of the Investment and Finance Committee are:
- Mr Harvey Kalman, Chair
- Mr Chris Butler
- Mr Adrian Lombardo, honorary committee member
- Mr Rod Ebsworth, honorary committee member
- Ms Liz Gillies, CEO
In February 1979 it was agreed that the principal memorial to Sir Robert Menzies was to be a non-political foundation called 'The Sir Robert Menzies National Foundation for health, fitness and physical achievement'. It would be located in Melbourne with Professor Sir Edward Hughes, then president of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, as its founding chairman. The Federal Government of the time launched a public appeal and the appeal brochure emphasised that the Menzies Foundation:
“ ... would be broad in vision and high in aspiration, and be directed to improving the quality of life. It would have wide appeal among Australian men and women and a special application to young people. It would for these reasons be appropriate to the memory of the man to be honoured.”
Having concluded that some aspect of health and fitness would be the main focus of memorial activities, the trust (created by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser) also decided that it would not limit itself to this area alone but would also engage in a number of subsidiary activities. These included the possibility of developing scholarships in law and medicine.
The public appeal raised $6.2 million. The funds were invested so that the income could be used to support the various memorial activities in perpetuity. In its first 25 years, the Menzies Foundation expended approximately $20 million of its investment income on a program of initiatives that included:
- the establishment of the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin;
- the establishment of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Hobart;
- the funding of post-graduate scholarships in the fields of medicine, allied health sciences and law;
- the sponsorship of grants, seminars and lectures on public health related themes;
- support for the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies in London;
- support for the Menzies Memorial Scholars' Association;
- the restoration and maintenance of 'Clarendon Terrace', East Melbourne; and
- the creation of the Menzies Virtual Museum website, menziesvirtualmuseum.org.au.
(With some slight modifications, this text has been taken from The Menzies Foundation: an unconventional memoir, written by Menzies Foundation Director and former General Manager, Sandra Mackenzie.)
His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
The Menzies Foundation is proud to have the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) as our patron.
Prior to taking up his position as Governor-General, His Excellency had a highly distinguished military career. While serving in Vietnam in 1971, he was awarded the Military Cross for his performance and leadership.
Peter Cosgrove came to national attention in 1999 when, as Commander of the International Task Force East Timor (INTERFET), he was responsible for overseeing that country’s transition to independence. For his leadership in this role he was promoted to Companion in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AC).
Promoted to Lieutenant General, he was appointed Chief of Army in 2000. After further promotion to General, he served as Chief of the Defence Force from 2002-2005. He retired from the Australian Defence Force in 2005.
On 25 March 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that General Cosgrove would become a Knight in the Order of Australia when sworn in as Governor-General.
The structural problem was tackled first. A network of structural ties was inserted into the fabric of the walls to arrest the movement and to maintain the structural integrity of the building after restoration. Steel rods were threaded through the walls and anchored by steel plates on the external walls, as shown. Simultaneously, several designs for restoration were considered.
The plan accepted features a Grand Gallery with a broad, sweeping staircase and a new clerestory roof. The structural ties can be seen as exposed rods running from side to side across the clerestory roof at lighting level.
The administrative needs of the Foundation were met by the creation of offices and service areas on the ground floor and a committee room upstairs. A seminar room was also created on the upper story with a capacity for seating 60 persons theatre style.
About Clarendon Terrace
Essentially, the problem stemmed from the fact that the property had progressively suffered damage by neglect for many, many years. Externally, the ornamentation of the capitals at the top of the four giant columns at the front of the building had vanished completely and the facade itself was cracked, peeling and crumbling. The windowsills, pediment capitals and other external ornamentation had either been eroded or, at best, had been severely damaged by pollution.
Internally, the problem was even more severe. Some of the walls had splayed outwards and the movement was threatening to continue. In some places the roof had collapsed: in others it was leaking so that water was running down several of the walls and the cellars were flooded to a considerable depth.
Plaster had stripped from most of the walls which, in some cases, had also suffered structural deformation: two sets of staircases were unsafe whilst many floorboards were rotten. Only a small number of rooms in the southernmost terrace had escaped damage and gave evidence of the potential for restoration. All in all, the prognosis seemed poor.
About Clarendon Terrace
'My God, they want to demolish Clarendon Terrace'. No Way, Man! ... That familiar 70's cry rang around the Melbourne University Architecture School.
Clarendon Terrace, 120 years old and down at heel, but among the best and most gracious examples of the neo-classical terrace of town houses in Melbourne, was mooted for demolition. We were incensed and, imbued with the heritage values taught by David Saunders, George Tibbits, Miles Lewis, et al, Melbourne's key architectural historians, we 'Archies' both young staff and students, decided to put our stamp of disapproval on yet another act of urban vandalism.
The students painted placards and banners, we decided on slogans and proceeded first thing through South Carlton, picking up a few Arts fellow travellers from their early morning tutorial at the 'Prince Albert' and colleagues from RMIT in Swanston Street, all winding up in East Melbourne outside Clarendon Terrace. Along the way, of course, we regaled the general population with our intention to save the Terrace. Here we joined a band of urban activists, concerned locals, the more sedate but vital National Trust folk and some press - all aghast that this great Terrace, albeit not in great shape, but eminently restorable, was facing destruction.
By way of context remember that Melbourne's CBD Victorian heritage by this time had been decimated. Modernist towers, often poor derivatives of American exemplars had submerged much of Melbourne's commercial Victorian heritage. Whole sections of inner Melbourne heritage residential suburbs had been razed to make way for Housing Commission tower blocks - and European derivatives that were disastrous architecturally and social experiments of the worst kind.
The National Trust, Carlton Association and other urban associations, the union movement et al had used whatever leverage they could to preserve what remained of inner Melbourne's heritage. We academics and students formed the sharp edge of protest aimed at blunting the momentum of desecration, pricking the conscience of the community and giving politicians and bureaucrats something to think about.
In many ways Clarendon Terrace was a turning point in the heritage movement. This was a travesty. The building had been on the Historic Buildings Register for nearly twenty years, but the owners had successfully obtained a demolition permit from none other than the Historic Buildings Preservation Council!! Presumably they bought the argument that the Terrace was beyond repair. We saw it from a different angle.
Osgood Pritchard's design featured Clarendon's fine Corinthian portico of giant proportion and unique in Melbourne. The Terrace's generous and elegant proportions and its contribution to the highly urbane streetscape of East Melbourne were of particular significance. Clarendon Terrace became a beacon - it had to be saved. Signs were affixed to the wrought iron fence - "EA Watts Master Blunder", "Who Wants Watts", "Developer Destroyer" and other homilies were among many messages to remain there for some time. Placards were paraded, slogans chanted, speakers cheered and press presence applauded.
A roster for a vigil was roughly arranged and then we called it a day. A counter lunch at the Baden Powell Hotel in Victoria Street beckoned and I seem to recall that those doyens of the green union movement - Messrs Gallagher and Halfpenny shouted lunch.
In the event, we were right - Clarendon Terrace was saved and our efforts may have helped a bit.
What a pleasure it is now to see this fine building, well restored and still the pride of Clarendon Street. Its equally gracious present occupant, the Menzies Foundation, deserves great credit, along with the National Trust, for finding a heritage development model that has worked superbly well.
Daryl Le Grew