Keyton | Menzies History

A Rich History at Menzies Malvern

Menzies Mavern illustration of buildings in yellow shade

A distinguished community in the heart of Melbourne’s inner south east, the foundation of Menzies’ charming character is its rich history. Thanks to the help of some resident sleuths, here are some key moments in Menzies Malvern’s history to date.

In the beginning

Menzies Malvern was previously a private girls school named ‘Kildara’, which closed in 1994. In mid-1999, works commenced to build a premium retirement village and the first sod was turned by Alex Menzies, grandson of Sir Robert Menzies . Two years after this momentous occasion on 15 May 2001, Menzies was opened for its first residents.

A tribute to Sir Robert Menzies

As the name suggests, the residences was named after Sir Robert Menzies and the community have always been proud of its connection to the Australian politician. In December 2005, the bust of Sir Robert Menzies, mounted in the foyer, was commissioned by the social committee. It was officially unveiled with a formal ceremony and still stands proud in the foyer to this day. In 2015, the dining room was named ‘The Haverbrack Room’, in recognition of Sir Robert Menzies who had lived in Haverbrack Avenue in Malvern.

Life at Menzies

Menzies was and still is a socially vibrant community. Even from the early years residents loved throwing celebrations and social affairs, and Christmas and New Year’s Eve would often see residents dancing in the dining room, someone dressed as Santa Claus, and even a Scottish piper in full gear. They enjoyed watching the NYE fireworks in the city from the 5th floor of one of the resident’s apartments. Formal social activities were also introduced from the get-go. Many of these became annual events that continue to this day, including celebrations on Cup Day, Australia Day, Anzac Day, Christmas in July, and Grand Final Day. Ladies afternoon, or ‘craft and laugh’ as it’s become known, was introduced in the early days, and still takes place on Monday afternoons.

Present day

Almost 20 years since welcoming the first residents, Menzies continues to have a warm, welcoming community at its heart. As resident Alan Wilkie states in his comprehensive personal account, ‘A Brief History of Menzies Malvern’:

“It is the people who make living at Menzies Malvern a happy experience.”

A pictorial study of the rich history of Menzies Malvern by the late Elisabeth Wieden is currently on display in the community’s Stonnington Room.