Monthly Archives: February 2015

David Horner’s ‘Official History of ASIO’ — is it honest history? was Spry a traitor? An Honest History talk by Ernst Willheim


5:30 pm, Thursday 26 March at Manning Clark House. To book email or phone us on 6295 1808. Entry $18 ($10 concession, members free)

Yes there really is an official history of ASIO. What would we expect from a publicly funded official history? Is this honest history? In this provocative talk, the first of Manning Clark House’s Honest History series for 2015, Ernst Willheim will focus primarily on ASIO’s surveillance of ordinary members of the Australian community academics, writers, journalists, trade unionists, and others holding progressive reviews. He will ask whether, by creating a climate of fear and intimidation, ASIO was undermining the fabric of Australian society. In light of recent revelations, he will also ask whether Colonel Spry, long head of ASIO, was a traitor.

This talk is part of Manning Clark House’s Honest History series presented in partnership with Honest History: Supporting balanced and honest history.

Ernst Willheim is a member of the Manning Clark House Committee and a Visiting Fellow at the ANU College of Law. Before his retirement he was a senior officer in the Attorney-General’s Department, specialising in constitutional law, administrative law, international law, human rights and indigenous issues.

MAGGIE DIAZ – I don’t do sweet

OPENING 4PM SUNDAY 29TH OF MARCH, 2015 with a floor talk by Curator, Gwendolen De Lacy.

Maggie Diaz arrived in Australia on a one-way ticket in 1961, (a divorce gift from her Australian husband) and soon established herself as one of Melbourne’s leading commercial photographers. Known for her expertise in using available light, Diaz had a genius for capturing character and situation. Dating back to Chicago in the 1950s, her work is also marked by the contrast between the glamorous commercial world and those outside of society with whom she felt a connection. ‘I Don’t Do Sweet’ focuses on the women and girls in the Diaz Collection: strong, composed, defiant and preferably not smiling. It is dedicated to Maggie’s daughter Laurie – the little red head who was adopted out via a baby broker in 1957 – lost because Diaz felt she had nothing to offer a child and life as a single, professional woman, could not involve motherhood.
Largely unrecognized until her 80th birthday in 2005, 90 year old Diaz’s archive is held by the State Library of Victoria and her work has been acquired by the National Library of Australia, The National Gallery of Australia and private collections around the world.

History in Public: Manning Clark Centenary, 1915–2015

Wednesday 4 March 2015, 5.30 pm

School of History, Research School of Social Sciences, in partnership with Manning Clark House
Manning Clark Centre (Bldg 26A), Theatre 5, ANU
Panellists: Nicholas Brown (ANU), Catherine Freyne (City of Sydney), Mark McKenna (University of Sydney), and Anna Clark (UTS)

This year sees the centenary of the birth of Charles Manning Hope Clark (born 3 March 1915), Professor of History at Canberra University College and later the Australian National University, from 1949 to 1974. Manning Clark was one of the university’s most distinguished academics: a gifted teacher, brilliant historian, and deeply influential public figure up to the time of his death in 1991. His pioneering courses on Australian history, magisterial six-volume A History of Australia (1962–1987) and numerous other publications, and long engagement with many of the big questions in Australian culture and society, provide a powerful exemplar of the historian as public intellectual. This panel discussion, organised to mark this centenary, will take up this theme via some more recent projects and examples of ‘history in public’. It will be an opportunity to honour Manning Clark’s contribution and legacy as a publicly engaged historian, and to explore some of the ways that history continues to figure in the public sphere.

The Conclusion and Vote of Thanks will be delivered by Mr Sebastian Clark, President of Manning Clark House.
The event will be followed by a reception and registration is necessary to attend.

Please register to attend this event by 2 March:

Nicholas Brown is a Professor of History at the Australian National University, working mainly in Australian social, environmental and policy history. His most recent book is A History of Canberra, published by Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Catherine Freyne is a historian and media producer now working at the City of Sydney. She previously produced Hindsight documentaries at ABC Radio National. Other projects she has worked on include the Dictionary of Sydney, 80 Days that Changed Our Lives and Against The Tide: A Highway West. Catherine studied Australian history at UNSW.

Mark McKenna is a Professor of History at the University of Sydney. He has published widely in many areas of Australian history and biography. His most recent book is An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, published by Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing, 2011.

Anna Clark is an ARC Future Fellow in Public History at the University of Technology Sydney. Her latest project, Every Now and Then: Navigating History in Australia, looks at the presence of the past in Australian communities today and will be published by Melbourne University Press in 2016.

Richard Denniss: What economists can learn from Manning Clark

Tuesday 3rd March at 6pm. What will Australia be when it grows up? While such questions are often asked of our children they are rarely asked of our country. This lack of inquiry about our future could reflect widespread acceptance that rapid population growth and economic growth constitute our ‘growing up’. Or the relative silence on our future might also reflect the narrowness of political leaders whose vision for our future is confined to the size of the budget deficit. Continue reading Richard Denniss: What economists can learn from Manning Clark

Arthur Boyd: Portrait of a Friendship

Opening 4pm, Sunday 15th February with a floor talk by Harriet Elvin, CEO of Cultural Facilities Corporation.

Manning Clark House Gallery presents an exhibition of paintings by Arthur Boyd, from the period of his long friendship with historian Manning Clark. These intimate works, figurative and set against the Australian bush, include two portraits of Manning Clark as well as a series of artistic nudes. This unique exhibition takes place in the original home of Manning and Dymphna Clark– the lounge room where Arthur and Manning discussed art, culture and other issues of the day over a pot of tea. Most of these works are on loan from the Bundanon Trust collection.

Reserve your place by emailing

Human Rights Photography Competition

Manning Clark House Human Rights Photography Competition

The MCH Human Rights Photography Prize is a national competition promoting contemporary human rights photography. Manning Clark House invites entries of photographs that seek to advance the health and well-being of other people.

Human Rights photography is considered here, as distinct from reportage, as any creative or documentary photographic work which hopes to provide benefit to the communities or individuals (the photographic subjects). Eligible work will aim to help communities or individuals in terms of health, security, safety, self-esteem or prosperity, or will result from a positive and ongoing relationship with a community or with individuals. Work which documents the suffering of others without providing a clear return to the photographic subject (other than raising public awareness) will be automatically excluded.

First Prize: The winning entrant will receive $1000, a solo exhibition at Manning Clark House in Canberra and a joint exhibition as part of the 2015 Ballarat International Foto Biennale (paper sponsored by Kodak)

Second Prize: The runner up will receive $500, a solo exhibition at Manning Clark House in Canberra and inclusion in an exhibition for the 2015 Ballarat International Foto Biennale (paper sponsored by Kodak)

Submission Guidelines: Entries should consist of a single email with the subject heading “MCH-HRP (your name)”. Your name and a short explanation of the work should be sent in the body of the email and your photograph/s should be attached as JPGs (72 dpi, maximum size 5MB). All entries should clearly respond to the idea of human rights and seek to uplift, defend, enrich or support a given community or individual. Please send entries and enquiries to

Jeff Moorfoot (Director of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale)
Joyce Evans (Photography Curator and previous Director of the Chapel Street Gallery)
Michael Silver (Director of Magnet Galleries)
Judith Crispin (Director of Manning Clark House)
Dione McAlary (Programs Manager of Manning Clark House)
Steve Marshall (CEO of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale)

Deadline: 30 April, 2015 (winners announced in May 2015)

Entry fee: $25 per image (multiple entries are permitted)

Payment details must be included with all submissions. Entry fees can be paid by the following methods:

By mail: Cheque or money order payable to ‘Manning Clark House Inc.’ or, for credit card payment, please print and complete the following form.

Visa [  ] Mastercard [  ]

Card number:                                   Expiry date:

Cardholder’s name:

Signature:                                          Date:

By Direct Debit: Manning Clark House Inc, Westpac Bank, BSB 032-729 Account 167805 (please include HRPP & your name in the description).

Axel Clark Poetry Prize

The Axel Clark Memorial Prize for Poetry

The inaugural Axel Clark Memorial Prize for Poetry will be awarded in 2015 by Manning Clark House to an Australian poet writing in any style. Submissions must be the entrant’s own work, must be unpublished and must have been completed no earlier than 12 months before the closing date.

Prize: The winning entrant will receive a one month writing residency and reading at Manning Clark House in Canberra and AUD$1000. Highly commended poets will be offered public readings in the annual MCH poetry series.

Judges: In 2015 the judges are Kathy Kituai, Geoff Page and Alan Gould

Submissions: We are looking for original and engaging poetry, across all genres and styles. Submissions should include 1 to 5 formatted and unpublished poems (one entry per person) and should be anonymous. Submissions should not exceed 100 lines in total. Pages must be numbered and must not include the author’s name or any identifying mark. Please email your submission as an attachment, in pdf format to with “Axel Clark Memorial Prize for Poetry” as the subject. In the body of your email please provide your name, address and a short biographical statement. No hard copy submissions will be accepted.

Eligibility: Entries for the Axel Clark Memorial Prize for Poetry are invited from Australian poets without age restriction. Employees or Committee Members of Manning Clark House or direct descendents of Manning Clark may not apply. Writers submitting to this competition agree to allow Manning Clark House the first publication of all winning and shortlisted poems.

Deadline: Thursday May 14, 2015

Entry Fee: AUD$35.00

Payment details must be included with all submissions. Entry fees can be paid by the following methods:

By mail: Cheque or money order payable to ‘Manning Clark House Inc.’ or, for credit card payment, please print and complete the following form.

Visa [  ] Mastercard [  ]

Card number:                                  Expiry date:  

Cardholder’s name:

Signature                                         Date:    

By Direct Debit: Manning Clark House Inc, Westpac Bank, BSB 032-729 Account 167805 (please include ACMPP & your name in the description).


As we receive no ongoing government funding, we rely on the support of volunteers. If you have a special skill, and are willing to share it with the MCH community, please contact us by email or phone.

We often need extra help with gardening, supervising art exhibitions, book-keeping, marketing, hanging artworks, selling tickets at the door, looking after visiting celebrities and other tasks.

There are many advantages to volunteering: meeting interesting and like-minded people, making contributions to communities you value, using skills that you might not otherwise use, being appreciated by small organisations like ours.

All our volunteers get free entry to all events they have helped with, even if they’re not volunteering on the day.

Manning Clark House deeply appreciates all help, no matter how small. Get in touch with us to see how you can make a difference.

Email or phone (02) 6295 9433.

music at MCH
music at MCH


Manning Clark House is a non-profit organisation funded exclusively through memberships, donations, bequests, fundraising, sponsorship and event fees. These funds are needed to covers staff costs (including cleaning and maintenance), programming costs (for our events) and general upkeep of this beautiful heritage-listed property.

We receive no on-going funds from the government. This means we have the freedom to program our calendar each year without fear of censorship or interference from without. But, like all independent institutions, our funding is very limited and often insecure. Your help can make a big difference.

MCH has Charitable and DGR Status, which means your donation is tax deductible. You can donate by contacting our office –

We would like to acknowledge the generous support of our members

Bronze donor :

  • Stephen Utick
  • Audrey Fry

Silver donor :

  • Barbara Perry
  • Dawn Richardson
  • Jill Waterhouse
  • Diana Simmons
  • Gerard Brennan
  • Andrew Freeman
  • Jenny Mills
  • Elizabeth Lawson
  • Paola and Romaldo Giurgola
  • Tim Clark
  • Jan Nicholas
  • Patrick Regan
  • Ann Moyal
  • Frank Bongiorno

Gold donor :

  • Elizabeth Minchin
  • Loretta and William Taylor
  • Chris Paterson
  • Todd & Lara Karamian

Platinum donor :

  • Marie Morgan
  • Janet Holmes a Court AC
  • Neilma Gantner


We are also extremely grateful to the ongoing support provided by the following benefactors:

  • Myer Family Company (Neilma B Gantner)
  • Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund – Family Grants Program
  • Janet Holmes á Court AC
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The Australian National University