Media release: Friday, 21 May 2010
An exhibition that has opened Australians' eyes to the talents and international contributions of Stanley Melbourne Bruce is in its final days at the National Archives in Canberra.
Bruce, sometimes described as Australia's forgotten prime minister, was a visionary who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. His work in the 1930s and 1940s, while he was High Commissioner in London, laid the foundations for the economic and social work of the United Nations today.
Visitors to the exhibition have expressed their surprise at and admiration of Bruce's many achievements. Comments left in the visitor's book include 'a pity we haven't got him now', 'great insight – I had never heard of him', 'an under-rated man' and 'he must have been one amazing person'.
In 1962 Prime Minister Robert Menzies referred to Bruce as 'probably the outstanding Australian of our time'.
Bruce, who had no children, willed his personal papers, photographs and objects to the people of Australia. They are now held in the National Archives and feature in this exhibition to highlight the complexity of Bruce: the sportsman, decorated war hero, prime minister, diplomat, member of the House of Lords, first Chancellor of the ANU and progressive visionary.
The exhibition closes on Sunday 30 May.