Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1945

  • February: Menzies formally advises Parliament of the formation and policy of the Liberal Party.

Prime Minister John Howard in 1997 stated:

"[Menzies'] most important and enduring achievement was the role he played in developing a distinctive Australian form of the liberal political tradition.

Menzies had a deep respect for the political freedoms and personal liberties, the parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, and a free press that were Britain's great gift to Australia.

It is no exaggeration to say that these principles constitute the foundations on which Australia's strengths as a nation are built. ...

The Australian liberal tradition embraces the philosophies of both Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mill. It draws on both the classical liberal and the conservative political traditions. It emphasises the importance of individual freedoms and responsibilities, and the relevance of values and obligations in securing outcomes that are in the national interest."
Extract from the 1997 Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Lecture "Australia and Britain; the Contemporary Partnership in a New International Environment", Prime Minister John Howard, 23 June 1997

  • James Menzies, Robert's father, dies at the age of 83.

Australian Events

Posted in 1945

  • Prime Minister Ben ChifleyMay: The House is informed that Germany had surrendered on May 7. VE Day ("Victory in Europe") is celebrated on May 8.
  • July 5: Prime Minister Curtin dies suddenly, one month before the end of World War II.
  • Forde Government, July 6: (see Australian Prime Ministers) Deputy Prime Minister Frank Forde is sworn in as interim Prime Minister for only six days.
  • Chifley Government, July 12: (see Australian Prime Ministers) Ben Chifley is elected to the Labor leadership and becomes Prime Minister.
  • August: Jubilation erupts when Australians learn of Japan's surrender. Workers across Australia leave their offices to dance and sing in the streets.
  • Australia has a major role in the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan.
  • Celebrating Victory in the Pacific, Grafton NSW, 15/8/45Australia, led by External Affairs Minister Dr Herbert Evatt, plays a leading role in the founding of the United Nations organisation.
  • Sir Howard Florey shares with Sir Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases". Howard Florey, born 1898 in Adelaide, graduated at Adelaide University, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford leading to a BSc and MA, and later a PhD from Cambridge.
  • Dr Evatt signs UN charter for Australia, San Francisco, 26 June 1945The first Sydney to Hobart yacht race is won by Rani in 6 days 14 hours.

 Cover of The Australian Women's Weekly

World Events

Posted in 1945

  • Mushroom cloud rises from the atomic bomb, NagasakiYalta Conference between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Allies advance on Germany from the east and west.
  • Death of Hitler; Berlin is captured by the Russians.
  • Victory in Europe: VE Day is celebrated the day after Germany's surrender on May 7, signifying the end of war in Europe.
  • Winston Churchill is defeated in the British election.
  • August: USA drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than 70,000 people die in Nagasaki alone.
  • VP Day - Victory is won in the Pacific region on August 15 when Japan accepts the Allies' terms. The surrender document is signed on September 2, but the peace treaty is not signed until September 8, 1951.General MacArthur signs the Japanese surrender document
  • Germany and Japan are occupied by the Allies.
  • San Francisco Conference: The United Nations Charter is signed.


Celebrating the end of World War II