General Sir John MonashPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The monument commemorates Sir John Monash, first Chairman of the State Electricity Commission (SEC). It was erected by SEC employees and was originally sited in the Town Square of Yallourn. The monument incorporates a bust on a granite plinth as part of the general design.  It was erected in the carpark of PowerWorks Education Centre in 1994. 

Work will be begin at once on the erection of a memorial to the late Sir John Monash who was chairman of the State Electricity Commission. The site is at the centre of Town Square, Yallourn, and the memorial will be erected at a cost of £300 contributed by employees of the State Electricty Commission and by H B Corben and Sons Pty Ltd. Portion of the memorial will be of granite. Incorporated in the general design which is by the commission architects (Mr. A.R. La Gerche and Mr. W. E. Gower) will be a replica of the bust of Sir John Monash by Mt Paul Montford. It is hoped that the memorial will be completed in time for unveiling on Monday October 8, the day following the anniversary of Sir John Monash`s death. 
The Argus (Melbourne), 22 July 1932. 

An iconic bronze bust of Sir John Monash which once stood in the former township Yallourn has been returned after it was stolen from a car park outside PowerWorks Energy Education Centre at Morwell. Described as a "national treasure" by centre volunteers, the historical monument was knocked off sometime between Tuesday afternoon and 9am on Thursday. But on Friday morning, volunteers found the treasure in a garden adjacent to the car park.

"When I was coming up to open the building up, I did a drive around and there he was laying face down in the first planter box," PowerWorks vice-president Bruce Lougheed said. "All I can say is that maybe somebody had a change of heart and for that we are very appreciative."

It was one of five original busts of the late founder of the State Electricity Commission, according to PowerWorks volunteers, with others displayed at the Shrine of Remembrance and in Canberra.

Mr Lougheed described the theft as "a targeted attack" but was grateful for the return of the Latrobe Valley icon.

"Wayne, one of our volunteers, came in this morning and said 'Sir John's gone' and I said 'yeah right' and he said 'I'm not joking' and with all due respect I dropped a few due adjectives," he said. "Historically, we couldn't put a value on it considering there are only five of these busts in existence. This is one of those five and it was extremely unique because he didn't have his military hat on like all the others which do."

The bust was erected in the car park of PowerWorks in 1994 and underwent a restoration and tidy up about nine months ago following a grant from Latrobe City Council.

The plinth where the bust was mounted was originally unveiled at Monash Square, Yallourn in the 1930s following the death of Sir John, a former general in the military during the First World War.

Volunteers believe the thieves used a hacksaw or grinder to remove the bust from its mount before using a crowbar to jimmy the monument off the marble stone which has been "significantly damaged". The centre will look to have the bust repaired and reinstated in its former position at PowerWorks.
Latrobe Valley Express (VIC), 19 February 2018.



Address:Ridge Road , PowerWorks Education Centre , Morwell, 3840
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.247793
Long: 146.413635
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1921
Approx. Event End Date:1931
Designer:Mr. A. R. La Gerche & Mr. W. E. Gower (architects)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 27th November, 1932
Front Inscription

This memorial was erected by the employees of all grades and branches of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and the Commissioners as a permanent record of their affection and admiration for General Sir John Monash G.C.M.G, K.C.B., V.D., B.A.,D.C.L.,LLD., D.Eng., M.Inst.C.E. 

Chairman of the Commission 1921 - 1931.

27th November 1932

Source: VMR, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au