Menzies, Sir Robert Gordon
Born in Jeparit, Victoria,
the son of a country shopkeeper, Menzies studied law at Melbourne University.
In 1934 he won the federal seat of Kooyong for the United Australia Party and become attorney-general under Joseph Lyons.
When Lyons died in 1939, Menzies became leader of the United Australia Party and
Prime Minister. His first term was overshadowed by personal rivalries in his own party and the war crisis. In 1941 dissatisfaction
within his party forced him to resign; soon afterwards his party lost government when two independents transferred their support
to Labor under John Curtin.
He was knighted in 1963 and
in 1977 was the first person to be appointed AK. Among his many achievements was the provision of extensive federal
assistance for education. He retired in 1966.