Sir John Monash Commemorative Lecture

On Friday 11 August, eight students were invited to commemorate Sir John Monash. Though most of us didn’t know much about what some may regard as “the greatest Australian ever,” we were soon to find out more. John Monash was a Jewish Australian - German, born in Dudley Street, West Melbourne, Victoria. John Monash was born on 27 June 1865 and died on 8 October 1931. Monash graduated from Melbourne University with a Master of Engineering, a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws and a Doctor of Engineering. He was a Civil Engineer and an Australian Military Commander in the First World War.

His most notable achievements are being:

  • Commander of the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade - Gallipoli 1915
  • General Officer of Commanding Australian Army Corps - France 1918
  • Chairman of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria - 1921 to 1931
  • The $100 dollar note
  • Monash University
  • City of Monash, Melbourne
  • Monash Medical Centre
  • Monash Freeway
  • John Monash Scholarship
  • John Monash Science School

While spending a large amount of time in the army, Monash was also very caring and he also organised and supervised the repatriation of over 200,000 Australian troops, including 15,000 dependent wives and children. Sir John also established classes to retrain his men for civilian life including those who did not have a trade or profession.

In 1916, Monash, in Egypt, initiated a commemoration of what is now known as ANZAC Day and was the driving force behind the building of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

Throughout his life, Monash always recommended to “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.

You may know of Monash from many of the following all of which are dedicated to Sir John Monash:
By the end of the service, we were all talking about Sir John Monash as if we had known him for years. Familiar with his story we now understand why he is regarded as one of the greatest Australian ever, and this is because he patriotic, caring and a leader.

Monique Kuzmis
Year 10 student

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