Stop the Menzies Institute!
GSA Education Officers, Monica Sestito (Research) and Brendan Laws (Coursework), are initiating a campaign in collaboration with the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Education Office of UMSU to stop the establishment of the Robert Menzies Institute at the University of Melbourne.
The Robert Menzies Institute (RMI) is slated to open in September in the East Wing of Old Quad. This Institute is a project of an extremely conservative and explicitly partisan think tank funded by the Liberal Party: the Menzies Research Centre (MRC). After securing $7.5 million in funding (seven from the Federal Government, and the rest from wealthy benefactors), the MRC brokered a deal with University management to establish the RMI. The makeup of the RMI’s board, including figures like Peta Credlin and Georgina Downer, shows it to be more dedicated to conservative politics and Liberal Party allegiance than to representing the diverse University of Melbourne community. Staff and students have been excluded from the decision-making process, and the partisan nature of this project has remained undisclosed.
In opposition to the RMI, the purpose of this campaign is to demand fully-funded tertiary education where students and staff have agency over what we learn, teach, and research – not external organisations with their own commercial and political agenda.
GSA invites all graduate students and other community members to support the campaign by signing and sharing the Open Letter. If you have time, please leave a statement of support as well to let the University administration know why you oppose this imposition on the University Melbourne campus.
To keep up to date, be sure to follow the campaign on Facebook.