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When the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation restored "Clarendon Terrace" for the National Trust in 1981, a museum of Menzies memorabilia was high amongst future aims. In the event, insufficient material was available to achieve this aim on site and other options were explored. The first was the creation of the splendid "Menzies in his time" video in 1994, the centenary of Sir Robert Menzies' birth.

Discussions were held in 1995 with Steve Bowman Studios and Mr Itiel Bereson as a consultant regarding the creation of a multi-site, interactive educational facility including a physical timeline to be accessed at "Clarendon Terrace". The Board considered the proposal from Steve Bowman Studios and, although the value was freely acknowledged, early estimates of the cost and a later feasiblity study put such a project beyond the reach of the Foundation.

In December 1997, the Menzies Foundation's Board of Directors agreed to a proposal from the Executive Director, Dr Eric Wigglesworth, that an educational facility to honour Sir Robert Menzies should be developed on the Foundation's web site. That proposal has been progressed as an independent web site by the current Secretariat, Professor John Coghlan (Executive Director) and Ms Sandra Mackenzie (General Manager).

The Menzies Virtual Museum is an educational resource which documents the life and achievements of Sir Robert Menzies. The site is a time line spanning Sir Robert's life from 1894 to 1978. It contains more than 750 images, several sound and film clips and more than 80,000 words of supporting text including "The Forgotten People" essays.

About this site

The time line is organised on three levels:

(1)  the life and times of Sir Robert Menzies;
(2)  people and events that shaped Australian history during that time; and
(3)  world events that took place during those years.

Looking at the time line in any one year, the context of what was happening in Sir Robert's life, Australia and the world can be seen. For example, the year 1965 includes photographs of Sir Robert's appointment as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, photographs of anti-Vietnam war protests in Australia, and the death of Sir Winston Churchill in London, including a sound recording and transcript of Sir Robert Menzies' tribute broadcast from the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral.

The site is designed to be of value to school children and members of the general public who have an interest in Australian history and the life and times of Sir Robert Menzies. It is an ongoing project of the Menzies Foundation and will be updated continually as further material on Sir Robert becomes available.

The Menzies Virtual Museum was launched by the Hon John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia at Clarendon Terrace on Friday, 13th September 2002. Information and photographs of the launch can be seen here.


Copyright of the Menzies Virtual Museum website resides with the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation ("Menzies Foundation"). Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under copyright legislation, no part may be reproduced or reused for any commercial purposes whatsoever.

Contact us

The Menzies Foundation
Clarendon Terrace
210 Clarendon Street
East Melbourne Vic 3002

Fax +61 3 9417 7049
Email [email protected]
Website Menzies Foundation