Media release
1 November 2021

UoM Students Protest the Establishment of the Robert Menzies Institute on Campus

Students are protesting the opening of the Robert Menzies Institute (RMI) in Melbourne University’s Old Quad on Thursday 18 November. GSA, UMSU and NUS are calling on all university students, staff and community supporters to join the November protest.

“Opposition to the Menzies Institute has been overwhelming,” said Hannah Krasovec, UMSU Education Public Affairs Officer. “University students and staff across Australia recognise that any think tank led and bankrolled by the Liberal Party has nothing to do with improving our education or working conditions. It’s instead about creating a Liberal Party outpost with money that should be spent on our education, not conservative think tanks.”

The Menzies Institute is set to be inaugurated by an all-day conference dedicated to Robert Menzies’ early career. An exclusive gala dinner will follow, with Liberal Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenburg to give the keynote address. Several Liberal Party figures and members of the University Chancellery will attend.

“The opening gala will bring together university managers who’ve executed massive staff cuts in recent months, conservative commentators who’ve spent the pandemic railing against life-saving public health measures, and fossil fuel magnates who are on a crusade to frack the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin,” said Monica Sestito, Education (Research) Officer at GSA.

“Protesting the institute’s opening is about fighting for the education we deserve, as much as it is about resisting a set of exploitative and ecologically destructive politics,” said NUS President Zoe Ranganathan. “The student movement has a long history in fighting for social change and our campaign against the Menzies Institute is a part of that tradition.”

Rally plans are subject to change in line with public health orders, so people planning to attend should follow the campaign on Facebook and the UMSU Education page to stay informed.

Protest details

Thursday 18 November, 5.00pm, South Lawn at the University of Melbourne
Follow the event here!

Contact details

Monica Sestito (GSA Education Research Officer)
0435 357 508

Hannah Krasovec (UMSU Education Public Affairs Officer)

Jack Buksh (UMSU President)

Zoe Ranganathan (NUS President)
0411 606 808

Download a copy of the media release (PDF)