Category Archives: About


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

Our people

(Sebastian Clark and Joy Warren – photograph by Judith Crispin)


Dr Ann Moyal AM is a leading historian of Australian science and telecommunications. A former academic at the ANU Research School of Social Sciences, the New South Wales Institute of Technology and Griffith University, she is the author of thirteen books on aspects of science and technology in Australia, biography,and her autobiography ‘Breakfast with Beaverbrook. Memoirs of an independent woman’. She founded the Independent Scholars Association of Australia in 1995. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Doctor of Letters ANU and HonD.Litt. Sydney University, she lives in Canberra. For several decades.Ann was a close friend of Manning and Dymphna Clark.

Barry Jones is a thinker, particularly about the future of science education. He was the first radio talk-back man, and a member of the Australian Film Development Corporation. Barry has been the federal minister for Science, Technology, Small business and Customs. Currently he is exploring Australia’s future in relation to knowledge.

David Malouf is a teacher, writer and cultural commentator. He has taught English in England and at Sydney University. As a writer he has been well known with such works as Johnno, An Imaginary Life, and Remembering Babylon. His lectures are always impeccably delivered.

Hon Sir Gerard Brennan ACKBE is a lawyer and judge. He was educated in catholic schools and was President of the National Union of Australian University Students. He was a High Court Judge and member of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Emeritus Professor Ingrid Moses ‘ career spanned 28 years in higher education in four Australian universities: University of Queensland where she also gained her PhD, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Canberra, and as Vice-Chancellor of the University of New England and Chancellor of the University of Canberra. She was awarded honorary doctorates from the UTS and California State University, Sacramento for her research and development work in higher education and contribution to international education as President of the International Association of University Presidents. She is now engaged on boards of a variety of not-for-profit organisations.

Jack Mundey is a conservationist and union leader. He has spent a considerable amount of time working towards the preservation of Australia’s heritage and countryside, often in conjunction with his work as a union leader.

Janet Holmes à Court AC is a businesswoman and supporter of the arts. She has been chairman of the board of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Chancellor of the University of Western Australia and a Director of Heytesbury Holdings Ltd. Janet delivered the first Manning Clark annual Lecture in 2000.

Justice Michael Kirby was appointed to the Court in February 1996. He has held numerous national and international positions including on the Board of CSIRO, as President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands, as UN Special Representative in Cambodia and as President of the International Commission of Jurists. In 1991 he was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Justice Kirby delivered the second Manning Clark annual Lecture in 2001.

Neilma Sidney is a writer and philanthropist. She has worked with the Myer Foundation for many years and has created the Four Winds Festival near Bermagui.

Phillip Adams AO is an author, broadcaster and film-producer, whose films include “The Getting of Wisdom” and “We of the Never Never”. Currently he has a column in The Australian sponsored by Rupert Murdoch and interviews on Late Night Live under the eagle eyes of Alan Jones and Donald McDonald.

Staff: Manning Clark House is run by office bearers and committee members.


President: Sebastian Clark


Sebastian has been President of MCH since 2000. His teacher’s career took him to Geelong, Melbourne and England. He helped his mother get A Historian’s Apprenticeship and Speaking Out of Turn ready for publication. His interests include the minutiae of history. In 2006 Sebastian wrote an addendum to the new edition of Manning Clark’s A Short History of Australia which brings the book right up-to-date, revealing many enduring parallels between the past and present.

Vice-President: Ernst Wilhelm


Ernst Willheim is a Visiting Fellow at the ANU College of Law. Between 1967 and 1998 he worked for the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department where he headed several policy and professional Divisions, led Australian delegations to international conferences and appeared as counsel for the Commonwealth in the High Court and other appellate courts. Since his ‘retirement’ he has pursued research and published in several public law areas including native title, racial discrimination administrative law, judicial accountability, constitutional law, international law and refugee law and has acted pro bono as counsel, including a successful complaint to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. He appeared as amicus curiae in the High Court challenge to the Northern Territory Emergency legislation.

Treasurer: Rowland Clark

Public officer: Dione McAlary

Secretary: Gareth Knapman

Clark Family Representative: Andrew Clark


Andrew Clark is a former political correspondent of the National Times, and a former literary editor of The Age. Co-author of the book Kerr’s King Hit, he has given guest lectures at Yale University, the Budapest University of Economics and the Menzies Centre in London.


Committee members:

Lucille Rogers

Shobha Varkey

Paul Hetherington


Honorary Auditor

Marissa Gonzalez

Honorary Solicitor

Bill Baker

Venue hire

Manning Clark House is available for hire for conferences, business meetings and social gatherings. Hirers have access to the lounge room, dining room and kitchen of the House and the beautiful large garden.

This unique and beautiful heritage-listed venue is available for hire to both MCH members and the public, with discounted rates for members and not for profit organisations.

Hire includes:

  • use of kitchen equipment including cutlery, glasses and crockery
  • tables and chairs
  • additional equipment and services available at extra charge eg small marquees, projector and screen, photocopying etc.
  • furniture etc can be set up for an additional charge

Capacity – the lounge room, which is the area part of the venue, can hold:

  • up to 40 people in “seminar” style
  • around 55 for cocktail
  • around 20 for a dinner
  • 12 for u-shaped business planning days
  • Some hirers erect a marquee in the gardens for large events such as weddings

To book the venue or for more information, please contact us at or phone (02) 6295 9433.

Become a member of MCH

Members of Manning Clark House play a very important part in supporting, guiding and implementing the organisation’s program of activities through subscriptions, attendance and feedback at events and election to the Committee.

People throughout Australia can become members of Manning Clark House Inc.
Membership fees are shown on the application form accessed below.

Membership benefits:

  • free entry to most MCH events
  • discounted entry to special events
  • use of the house library by arrangement
  • 10% discount on hire of MCH venue facilities
  • advance notice of MCH activities via our newsletter

If you’d like to become a member of MCH you can download a membership form from the link below and email it to our office at or phone (02) 6295 9433.


About Manning Clark House

MCH Garden
MCH Garden

Manning Clark House & Gallery is a not-for-profit organisation supporting honest history, literature, culture and human rights.

We aim to promote and encourage vigorous discussion and debate on all issues of public and academic importance.

Manning Clark House & Gallery hosts public addresses, debates, forums, art exhibitions, book launches, poetry readings and other gatherings in the home of Manning and Dymphna Clark in Forrest, Canberra.

Fine artists, poets and scholars are appointed as residential fellows either through winning one of our prizes or scholarships, or on the basis of open application.

Manning Clark House & Gallery supports the Aboriginal community through our Indigenous fellowships.

We are funded by donations and membership fees, as well as grants from Melbourne University, the Australian National University, and philanthropic organisations.

We value our members, patrons and sponsors. As a non government organisation, who receives no ongoing government funding, we deeply appreciate donations and contributions from our membership.

Stay at MCH

Manning Clark House welcomes scholars (students and academics), writers, artists and members to stay at the House.

The house is situated in a large beautiful garden in one of Canberra’s most elite suburbs, Forrest, home to many diplomats. Shops, restaurants and cafes are just five minutes’ walk away and the city a 10 minute bus ride. It is also convenient to the National Library, the Archives, and the Australian National University. Manning Clark House has two twin bedrooms, with a shared bathroom.

Residents actually sleep in one of the bedrooms occupied by the Manning Clark children over the years and are able to use the rest of the house including Manning Clark’s study, where he wrote his definitive 6-volume History of Australia.

Residential visitors to the house self-cater in the kitchen facilities used by Dymphna Clark. Residents are welcome to invite guests into the home for meals or meetings. Tea, coffee and  light breakfast provisions are provided.

Several outside groups use the house during the week including a Latin American choir, a Spanish class and a book group. There are also frequent MCH Talks which residents are invited to attend as guests. One of Manning Clark’s sons, Sebastian Clark, who is President of MCH Inc, stays at the house regularly  –  if he’s around when you’re visiting he is able to give personal tours of the house and is a mine of information on all things Manning and Dymphna Clark!

Residents are also encouraged to give a talk to members on their topic of expertise.


  • $80 per night
  • $500 per week

Reduced rates for stays of one month or more. Discounts for members.

To book the room or for more information, please contact us.