Monash University namesake honoured with statue
A three-metre bronze sculpture of Sir John Monash was unveiled at the Clayton campus last week to honour the Monash University’s namesake, Sir John Monash, and celebrate his life and legacy.
The statue was officially unveiled by Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, together with President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AO.
Renowned Australian sculptor Peter Corlett OAM was commissioned to produce the sculpture, which depicts Sir John’s traits as a thinker, leader and visionary. He is standing on a concrete bridge, symbolic of his engineering career, and wearing a coat lapel to represent the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League badge.
A group of the Monash graduates and staff from the university’s early years—The Monash Pioneers—have worked to fund the project. The group formed in 2011, with the express purpose of providing philanthropic funding for projects that would enhance the heritage value of the university.
Sir John Monash’s contribution to Australia spanned many fields apart from his remarkable military achievements – an example for University students to aspire to.
Chair of the Monash Pioneers Sculpture Project, Mr Michael Headberry said, “the sculpture celebrates Sir John’s significant contribution to Australia as a scholar, engineer, lawyer, soldier, educator, businessman, patron of the arts, Rotarian and visionary.”
“We want to celebrate the university and honour the first students and staff of Monash University. What better way than to recognise the life and work of Sir John Monash whose life and accomplishments stand a an inspiration to all members of the Monash University family,” Mr Headberry said.
Professor Gardner said it was fitting to have a statue of Sir John Monash on campus so that students and visitors to the university could appreciate that it was named after a man who had an enormous impact on Australian life.
“I would like to acknowledge the generosity of the organisations and individuals who donated to this project and to the Monash Pioneers for their significant efforts to establish a statue of our namesake Sir John Monash on the Clayton campus,” Professor Gardner said.
The installation is situated in the lawn area between the iconic Menzies Building and Campus Centre at the Clayton campus.
More than 220 alumni, friends and organisations have made a donation to the project.