Speech by Sir Daryl Dawson
Chairman of the Menzies Foundation, at the opening of the Menzies Virtual Museum on 13th September 2002
Prime Minister, Distinguished Guests, members of the Menzies family, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Welcome to Clarendon Terrace, the home of the Menzies Foundation. We're honoured today that the Prime Minister has found time in a busy schedule to be with us and to launch the Menzies Virtual Museum web site.
Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation, which is a non-political body, has been responsible for creating and supporting a memorial in many forms to Sir Robert Menzies. Mostly these have been in the areas of health and education. There are, for example, the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, the Menzies Centre for Population Health Research in Hobart, the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies in London and Menzies scholarships in law, engineering, medicine and the allied health sciences. These institutions will ensure that the Menzies name lives long into the future.
Today we mark the creation of a new and different kind of memorial, the Menzies Virtual Museum. It's not a building in which exhibits are displayed. It's a web site. Through your computer you will have access to the life and times of Sir Robert Menzies in a way that's stimulating and educational for all and, perhaps, even nostalgic for some of us who lived through some of those times. It's a wonderful piece of history of those years from 1894 to 1978 in a new and exciting form. It includes historical photographs, sound and film clips and 25,000 words of supporting text. It will be updated and expanded continuously as material and funds become available. It's attached to the Melbourne Museum web site so that school children and others can gain access there by means of what I think is called a hot button. We'll give you a short demonstration in a moment, but first it must be launched.
I don't know how he's going to do it, but it gives me great pleasure to invite the Prime Minister to launch the Menzies Virtual Museum.
Sir Daryl Dawson