Business School Topics
The legacy of Australia's longest serving prime minster, Sir Robert Menzies, must not be forgotten, says former Australian Prime Minister John Howard AC.
Addressing a group of business leaders and alumni at the UWA Business School, Mr Howard said many of Menzies' greatest achievements were often overlooked by modern politicians.
Mr Howard's new book, The Menzies Era, places Menzies' policies and achievements in the context of 1950s and 1960s Australia, where economic growth was strong, unemployment low, and the Cold War ever present.
Just 12 years after the end of World War II, Menzies signed the Australia-Japan Commerce Agreement to supply iron ore to Japan, opening up the beginnings of a thriving trade relationship. This can be regarded, in fact, as the beginning of Western Australia's ‘Asian Century'.
Meanwhile, education reforms meant many talented but poor students received university education, and the Colombo Plan helped develop the infrastructure and skilled workforces of many of Australia's neighbouring countries.
One reason for writing The Menzies Era, explained Mr Howard, was to ensure history was told from both sides of the political divide.
Delivering the vote of thanks to Mr Howard, the UWA Business School Centre for Social Impact Convener Elena Douglas said the new book would illuminate the past in a way that inspires and opens options for the future.
Mr Howard was a guest of the UWA Business School and UWA Extension and delivered his breakfast address on 6 November 2014.