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

It aims to promote and encourage vigorous discussion and debate on all issues of public and academic importance.

Manning Clark House hosts public addresses, debates, forums, art exhibitions, book launches, poetry readings and other gatherings in the former home of Manning and Dymphna Clark in Forrest, Canberra. The venue can also be hired.

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.  It supports the Aboriginal community through its Indigenous fellowships.

Manning Clark House is funded by donations and membership fees, as well as grants from Melbourne University, the Australian National University, and philanthropic organisations.

Manning Clark House values its members, patrons and sponsors. As a non government organisation, which receives no ongoing government funding, the organising committee deeply appreciate donations and contributions from its membership.

About Manning and Dymphna Clark

Professor Charles Manning Hope Clark  (1915 – 1991)

Born in Sydney 1915, Manning Clark won scholarships to Melbourne Grammar School and the University of Melbourne. He later attended Balliol College, Oxford, and in the early 1940s taught history at schools in England and in Australia. He was a senior lecturer a the University of Melbourne and, later Professor of History in the School of General Studies, Australian National University. In 1972 he became the first Professor of Australian History and had honourary doctorates awarded by the University of Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney.

In June 1975 Manning Clark was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his writing of A History of Australia in six volumes, and was named Australian of the Year in 1980. Professor Clark died in May 1991.

More biographical information

Guide to the papers of Manning Clark in the National Library of Australia

Hilma Dymphna Clark (1916 – 2000)

Dymphna Clark was born in Melbourne of Swedish and Flemish parents, from whom she inherited an extraordinary discipline and energy, and a love of European literature, food and music.

She completed honours at Melbourne University, where her father Augustin was Head of Germanic Languages, and then travelled to Germany as the 1938 Humboldt scholar. As the Nazi regime continued to rise she abandoned her doctoral studies and reunited with Manning Clark in Oxford, marrying him there in 1939. She had six children In addition to maintaining a large household she provided invaluable assistance to her husband’s greatest works by editing, proof reading and research.

Dymphna Clark was a distinguished scholar in her own right. She was fluent in eight languages, could “get by” in another four, and lectured in German at the ANU. She established Manning Clark House, and enlivened the community with a passion for the environment. She was a driving force behind the formation of the Aboriginal Treaty Committee and drafted the Council’s preamble for review by Parliament.

Dymphna Clark’s major work is the translation of the botanist Charles Baron von Hugel’s New Holland Journals 1833 – 34.