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Speech given by the Governor at at the opening of the 2018 MPavillion at the Monash University Peninsula Campus.


I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the unceded lands on which this university stands – the Bunurong People – and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present. I would also like to thank N'Artwee't Professor Carolyn Briggs for her warm welcome to Country.

It is a pleasure to join you today at Monash University’s Peninsula Campus for the launch of MPavilion 2018.

Established in 1958, this University has followed the personal philosophy of Sir John Monash that one should “equip yourself for life, not solely for your own benefit but for the benefit of the whole community.”

There are many ways that an individual’s actions can positively benefit those around them.

Architects and designers bring people together, creating spaces for us to come together and share the experience of working, conversations, performance or just being.

And they build centres of learning where beliefs and opinions are shared.

As a university, Monash already acts as a meeting place for people to debate and enjoy ideas.

Monash Art, Design and Architecture, the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance, and Monash’s public lectures are just a few examples of how the University generates a sense of community through the creative arts.

Much like Monash, MPavilion recognises the value of bringing a community together.

Established by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation in 2014, it has become an important component of Victoria’s vibrant artistic culture.

Each year, a leading architect, either local or international, creates a new meeting place for Victorians and their visitors.

Each architect brings something new and unique to the community.

Previous designs have reflected diverse inspirations, drawing from urban landscapes, traditional shelters and visual art.

Each MPavilion has also included a five-month program of free events that reflects the diversity of the arts and the Victorian community, spanning lectures on Indigenous Astronomy to performances from local DJs.

What differentiates these designs from other temporary installations is the longevity of their use and availability to the public.

Each MPavilion is gifted to Victorians and given a permanent home where it can continue to bring people together.

I may sound biased, speaking as a former Vice-Chancellor, but I can think of no better place for the 2018 design than here.

And it is especially pleasing that this Pavilion by Carme Pinós, situated here at Peninsula, should join the Rem Koolhaas designed MPavilion, at Clayton.

We are fortunate in Victoria to be home to important foundations that support our public program of visual and performance art.

For ten years, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation has dedicated its time and resources to MPavilion and other projects “that engage communities and generate social, economic and environmental value.”

While its work extends beyond MPavilion, it is important that we recognise the achievements of this project and the long term impact it has on Victoria’s creative culture.

Congratulations to the Naomi Milgrom Foundation for a decade of successful MPavilions.

Thank you to Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Sharon Pickering and Provost and Senior-Vice President, Professor Susan Elliot, for inviting me to be a part of today’s ceremony, and the Monash staff, ably led by Peter Marshall and Bradley Williamson, for making this beautiful space here at Peninsula.

I look forward to seeing how this MPavilion will bring people together in its new home.