Monash’s Contribution to Australia’s Economy
Sir John Monash’s major peacetime contribution to Australia was probably his drive for the electrification of Victoria, utilizing the brown coal resources of the La Trobe Valley. Monash became Chairman of the new State Electricity Commission (SEC) early in 1921. The commission was established to develop open cut mining of the huge deposits of brown coal in the La Trobe Valley and to build the installations, which would transmit power statewide. Monash led efforts to dewater the coal allowing it to be economically utilized for power generation. In 1929 the Institute of Engineers, Australia awarded Monash its highest honour, the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal, and in June 1931 he was awarded the University of Melbourne's Kernot Memorial Medal for distinguished achievement in Australian engineering.
Sir John Monash continues to be recognized particularly in his home State of Victoria, lending his name to a number of civic institutions.
Most prominent of these is Monash University. Established in Melbourne in 1958, Monash is Australia's largest and most internationalised university, with around 56,000 students and 15,000 staff. It has eight campuses including one in Malaysia and one in South Africa, and a centre in Prato, Italy.
Monash University is a commissioned Victorian university. It was established by an Act of the State Parliament of Victoria in 1958 as a result of the Murray Report which was commissioned in 1957 by the then Prime Minister Robert Menzies to establish the second university in the State of Victoria. This was the first time in Australia that a university had been named after a person, rather than a city or state.
Monash University is a member of the "Group of Eight", a group composed of some of the most research-intensive universities in Australia. It was ranked by The Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings at number 45 of the world's top 200 universities for 2009. It is one of only three post World War II universities in the world's top 50.
One of Monash’s most well known statements is inscribed along a walkway between the Robert Blackwood Hall and Performing Arts Centre at the University’s Clayton campus:
“Adopt as your fundamental creed that you will equip yourself for life, not solely for your own benefit, but for the benefit of the whole community.”
The City of Monash is one of Melbourne's most populous municipalities, with around 172,000 residents. It is located 20km south east of the CBD in Melbourne's fastest growing population corridor. Monash is a cosmopolitan city with 37% of its residents coming from more than 30 countries. The City has a highly skilled and well-educated workforce, with 13% having a degree or higher education. Its residents also enjoy a level of home ownership that is considerably higher than the Melbourne average.
Monash has some of Melbourne's best known landmarks within its 82 square kilometres, including the Monash Medical Centre, the Victoria Police Academy and Jells Park. The City is also home to Melbourne's most substantial innovation cluster, with notable features including Monash University's Science Technology Research and Innovation Precinct and Technology Park and the Australian Synchrotron.
In 1994, with the amalgamation of the two former cities of Oakleigh and Waverley a new name was needed for the new municipality. The name Monash was suggested and approved by the Local Government Board.
The Monash Freeway is an urban freeway in Victoria, Australia linking Melbourne's CBD to its southeastern suburbs and the Gippsland region. It runs northwest to southeast for 34 kilometers, and was named in 1998 by then-Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett.
Recent News and Bibliography
Apart from the Geoffrey Serle biography, major works relating to General Sir John Monash include:
- Roland Perry: Monash: The Outsider Who Won a War
- Michael Lowrinwsky: Hard Jacka
There is also continued interest in Monash’s military title, in particular whether he may be accorded the rank of Field Marshal.