Robert Menzies Collection

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Biographical note:

Robert Gordon (Bob) Menzies (1894-1978) was Prime Minister of Australia, politician and barrister. Menzies studied Law at the University of Melbourne from 1913 to 1916. Menzies served for two years as president of the Law Students’ Society and was a founding member of the Historical Society. In 1916, he was elected president of the Students’ Representative Council and was appointed editor of the Melbourne University Magazine (MUM). Admitted to the Victorian Bar on 13 May 1918, Menzies became a tenant of Selborne Chambers, the established home of the Victorian Bar. He built a successful practice with an interest in constitutional law. Menzies’s political career began in state politics, when he entered the Victorian Legislative Council in 1928. In 1929, he stood successfully for a seat in the Legislative Assembly at the Victorian general elections. Menzies made the move from state to federal politics in 1934, whereupon he served as Commonwealth Attorney-General (1934-39). Menzies first served as Prime Minister from 1939 to 1941. In 1944, he formed the Liberal Party of Australia. Menzies’s second term as Prime Minister lasted from 1949 to 1966. Menzies held the federal seat of Kooyong until his retirement from politics in January 1966. After politics, he served as Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, from 1967 to 1972. Menzies died in 1978. In 1976, he offered his personal library to the University of Melbourne. The collection was installed in the Baillieu Library in 1980.


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