Category Archives: About

Manning Clark House AGM

Dear member/former member,

I am writing to let you know that the Manning Clark House AGM will be held at 5:30 pm on 10 November 2016 at Manning Clark House, 11 Tasmania Circle, Forrest ACT.  The Agenda is attached – if you have any difficulty reading it, let Ron Fraser know ( and he will send it to you in the body of an email.

We will be reporting to you on the work we have done so far this year to bring Manning Clark House alive again.  There are many things still to be done, and we will need your help with them in 2017, so it would be great if you could come along on 10 November and give us your ideas and hopefully sign up for volunteering next year if you haven’t already done so.

We are also very much in need of some new active committee members based in Canberra to help us in our transition to an all-volunteer organisation without paid staff, so please be prepared to nominate as an office bearer and/or committee member if you would like to help in this way (see attached form).

I attach the following documents: Agenda for AGM 2016, Nomination for Office-Bearer/Committee Member, and the MCH Membership Form if you need to rejoin.

We very much look forward to seeing and talking to you at Manning Clark House at the AGM – it would help in catering for light refreshments if you could RSVP to me at the email or postal addresses shown at the foot of the Agenda.  But if you’ve forgotten to do that, come anyway!

Alana Mahon, Manning Clark House Secretary





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: MCH 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: Paul Hetherington


Until November 2009, poet Paul Hetherington  was director of the National Library’s publications and events branch, and was founding editor of its quarterly journal, Voices (1991–97). He is now Associate Professor of Writing at the University of Canberra. His first poetry collection, Mapping Wildwood Road, appeared in 1990, and he has since published seven further collections including a verse novel, Blood and Old Belief (2003). He has served on the boards of a variety of literary and cultural organisations, judged various poetry prizes, and was one of the founders of the ACT Writers Centre. He has also been active as a reviewer, and edited The Diaries of Donald Friend (volumes 2, 3 and 4; 2003–2006). He is one of the founding editors of the online journal  Axon:Creative Explorations.

Treasurer: Marisa Gonzalez

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.

Secretary: Alana Mahon

Public Officer: Frank Bongiorno


Frank is an Australian labour, political and cultural historian. Prior to joining the Australian National University, where he is Associate Professor of History, he has held lecturing positions at King’s College London, the University of New England and Griffith University. He has also been an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the ANU, a Smuts Visiting Fellow in Commonwealth Studies at the University of Cambridge, and a Mellon Visiting Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Frank has served on the New South Wales Arts Advisory Council and as a member of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts Literature and History Committee, including as its chair for three years. He is a regular contributor to the media, especially Inside Story, for which he was London correspondent from 2008 until 2011, and the Canberra Times.

Committee Members:

Geoff Lazarus

Geoff is one of the hardworking members of the MCH Committee and across much of what is happening at the House. He is readily contactable on 0419 369 206.

He is a publicist and lobbyist on issues related to the Federal Parliament on environmental, indigenous and inequality matters.

Jen Webb

Jordan Williams and Jen Webb

Jen Webb is a poet, Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice, and Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design. Her current research includes an ARC-funded investigation of creative practice (using poetry as a case study), and an ARC-funded investigation of outcomes for graduates of creative arts degrees.

Greer Versteeg


With a background in painting and design, Greer Versteeg came to photography about eight years ago. She has exhibited in Australia, the US and Québec, Canada. Greer’s work has been published online and in print, and her images have been acquired by public and private collections. She is gradually working her way backwards in time to far less technologically advanced equipment, and enjoys playing with toy cameras and expired Polaroid film. She rarely feels a need to eliminate or prevent dust and scratches on her negatives and thinks focus is often overrated. Greer works as a graphic designer and photographer in Canberra.

David Headon

david headon

Dr David Headon is a cultural consultant and historian. Formerly Director of the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies (1994-2004), he is now Advisor on the Centenary of Canberra in the Chief Minister’s Department of the ACT Government, and advisor to Senator Kate Lundy. Dr Headon is a regular commentator on cultural, political and social issues on ABC television and radio and WIN television. A well-published writer, his most recent works include Best Ever Australian Sports Writing – a 200-Year Collection (2001) and The Symbolic Role of the National Capital (2003).

Vicken Babkenian


Vicken holds a Master of Commerce degree from the University of Western Sydney. He is currently an independent researcher for the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Vicken has written several articles on early Australian international humanitarianism. They include ‘Edith May Glanville – Champion of the Armenian Relief Fund’, Journal of the Ashfield and District Historical Society, 2008, ‘A Humanitarian Journey: The Reverend James Edwin Cresswell and the Armenian Relief Fund’, Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia, No. 37, 2009, and ‘An S.O.S From Beyond Gallipoli: Victoria and the Armenian Relief Movement’, Victorian Historical Journal, Vol. 81, No. 2, November


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.

Honorary Auditor

Pauline Hore

Honorary Solicitor

Bill Baker (Baker, Deane and Nutt)

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.

Hours and Access

Our opening hours–

Manning Clark House Office: 10am–5pm Tuesday to Thursday

Manning Clark House Gallery: 10am–3pm Tuesday to Sunday, during exhibitions, or by arrangement

Manning Clark House events: as advertised

Tours of the house are available on request. Please arrange tours in advance by phone or email.

Manning's desk
Manning’s desk

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.