Robert Menzies and today’s Australia

How successful was Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister in helping to create a better world in modern Australia?

The Menzies Era saw prosperity and opportunity grow in Australia with advances in education and technology, housing, trade and industry.  At the same time, there were challenges for Australia in the aftermath of World War II with the Cold War and social change and an influx of migrants.

Here are a few ideas for you to consider, but there are many more….

  • From the appointment of Dame Enid Lyons to his first ministry, Robert Menzies appointed women to senior positions in his governments. Does this have an impact in today’s Australia?
  • Robert Menzies won secondary and tertiary scholarships to complete his education. What education policies were implemented by the Menzies government and what was their influence in Australia and the world?
  • By 1951 the world was undergoing new tensions in international relations – the Cold War. What were the consequences of these tensions?
  • The Menzies government introduced a number of social, public health and aged care service reforms. To what extent did these create a better world for Australians?
  • The Menzies government in 1954 established Mawson Station in Antarctica as Australia’s first permanent base. Does this impact on the lives of Australians today.  Is there a global impact?
  • The Summer Olympic Games were held in Melbourne in 1956. There was much at stake when Hungary contested a water polo semi-final with the Soviet Union, the country which had recently invaded their own.  Do sporting events have the power to make a better world?


For more information see

Menzies Virtual Museum:

National Archives of Australia:

Research stations:

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation:


This category is sponsored by the Menzies Foundation. The Menzies Foundation was established in memory of Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister. The Foundation is a national non-political, not-for-profit organisation.