Alumnus Michael Headberry presents gift to France

Alumnus Michael Headberry, Chair of the Monash Pioneers Sir John Monash Project Board, recently travelled to France’s Somme region to present a gift of books from Monash University to the Musée Franco- Australien and L’École Victoria in Villers-Bretonneux. L’École Victoria has a particularly strong link to Victoria as it was rebuilt in 1923 with funds raised by children within the Victorian state school system.

Among the books presented to Monsieur Denys, senior Chair, and Lorraine El Jabouri of the Musée Franco- Australien was one written by the Hon Tim Fischer, AC who was pleased to be included as he is well known in the area and attended the dawn service held there this past May.

It is a time of expansion in the Villers-Bretonneux region as the Musée Franco- Australien is undergoing renovations due to be completed later this year. The Sir John Monash Centre is also well underway with the site cleared and excavated. The interpretive centre, designed by Cox Architecture, features integrated multimedia by Melbourne based company Convergence Associates and will provide an emotional as well as educational experience to visitors from around the globe. Michael also reports that the Peter Corlett sculptures, Cobbers at Fromelles and the Bullecourt Digger, are standing tall as a powerful symbol of Australia’s involvement.

Michael has been asked by Mr Fischer to join the Supporting Monash Committee which aims to improve awareness of Sir John Monash and his ongoing legacy - a legacy of significance to the Monash Pioneers. The Committee is currently working on the campaign to have Sir John upgraded to Field- Marshall in 2018, coinciding with the opening of the Sir John Monash Centre.