About

About the collection

Malcolm Fraser during his time at Oxford
Malcolm Fraser during his time at Oxford, c. 1951. University of Melbourne Archives 2007.0053 OSBA/648

The Malcolm Fraser Collection at the University of Melbourne currently consists of one hundred metres of family and personal records relating to the former Prime Minister of Australia, the Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser. Mr Fraser designated the University of Melbourne as the official custodian of his personal papers in 2004. In time, Mr Fraser’s library will also be transferred to the University of Melbourne and be housed at Melbourne Law School . The collection consists of all Mr Fraser’s personal papers from both his pre-ministerial and post-ministerial activities.

The collection spans Mr Fraser's life and interests, and includes material relating to:

  • Political life and party politics
  • Immigration and multiculturalism
  • Rural economy
  • Human rights and racial equality
  • The rule of law
  • Reconciliation and relations with Aboriginal Australia
  • The environment
  • Economic policy
  • Mr Fraser's recreational interests: photography, cars and fishing.

Commonwealth records generated by Mr Fraser as a Minister of the Crown will remain at the National Archives of Australia.

Highlights in the Malcolm Fraser Collection, aside from the material noted above, include:

  • Photographs. These include photographs taken by Malcolm Fraser’s father, Neville Fraser, and photographs of official overseas and domestic visits by Mr Fraser while Prime Minister of Australia. There are also photographs taken by Mr Fraser himself while on these visits.
  • Speeches dating from Mr Fraser’s 1956 preselection speech until the present day.
  • Some papers associated with Sir Simon Fraser, Mr Fraser’s grandfather. Simon Fraser was a member of the Victorian Upper House (the Legislative Council) and a participant in most of the Federation conferences which preceded Australian Federation. He was a foundation Senator for Victoria until 1913.
  • Papers of Mr Fraser’s father, Neville Fraser and his mother, Una Fraser.
  • Correspondence from individuals or interest groups associated with his constituency, the electorate of Wannon in Victoria’s Western District. The series covers Mr Fraser’s entire twenty-eight years in federal politics (1955–83).
  • Records relating to Mr Fraser’s role as a founding member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group reporting on apartheid in South Africa. Press releases, cuttings, board papers and other records from CARE Australia, Australia's largest non-political and non-religious overseas aid organisation. Mr Fraser founded CARE Australia in 1987.

Accessing the collection

The Malcolm Fraser Collection is managed by the University of Melbourne Archives. You can browse the collection via the University of Melbourne Archives collection database.

Records available for research may be used in the Cultural Collections Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Baillieu Library. Material needs to be ordered at least 24 hours in advance of proposed use. Note that some material is restricted access and permission must be sought.

For further information about the collection, or to discuss you research needs please contact the reference service at archives@archives.unimelb.edu.au.

Malcolm Fraser's speech

The formal announcement of the presentation of the Malcolm Fraser Collection to the University of Melbourne took place on 5 May 2005. Mr Fraser's speech at the event outlines his association with the University and his aspirations for the collection:

The lack of public outrage [at the anti-terror provisions] makes me feel Australia has travelled many leagues in the wrong direction since a former Chancellor of this University and some-time politician, founded the Liberal Party and in doing so emphasized, above all, maintenance of the Rule of Law, of due process under the law and equal access to the law. To have these papers in a place which has a firm, unshakable commitment to the Rule of Law and to Due Process, underlines a fundamental point of Australian life and a fundamental belief of my own. Speech by Malcolm Fraser

Reference group

The reference group for the Malcolm Fraser Collection provides expert advice on the care and development of the collection, as well as direction for research and development opportunities. The members are:

Mr Stephen Creese BA Melb. LLB (Hons) Melb

Stephen Creese has been Chair of the Archives Advisory Board at the University of Melbourne Archives since March 2015. He has been a Senior Fellow of the Melbourne Law School teaching International Minerals Law in the Law Masters programme since 2013. He is presently a member of an advisory board to the Office of Development Effectiveness within the Department of Foreign  Affairs and Trade, Vice -President of the Astra Chamber Music Society Inc and a board member of Melbourne Opera. He served as  the inaugural independent Chair of the National Employment Services Association from 2009 to February 2016. Prior to his retirement in July 2013, Stephen, a solicitor by profession, has had a career of over 33 years in the resources sector and was with the Rio Tinto Group for 29 years, including as General Counsel of Rio Tinto Limited for 13 years and then as Managing Director- Rio Tinto Australia.

Mr Ian Renard BA Melb. LLM Melb.

Ian Renard was Chancellor of the University of Melbourne from 2005 to 2009. During this time, the University Council underwent significant changes under the new strategic direction known as Growing Esteem, along with the introduction of the Melbourne Model. He was first elected to Council as a graduate representative in 1994 and elected Deputy Chancellor in 2001. As a student he was active in student affairs and served as Clubs and Societies Officer and as Chair of the Union Council. He was President of the Australian Liberal Students' Federation from 1967 to 1969. A prominent member of Melbourne's legal profession, Ian Renard practiced commercial law as a partner and managing partner at Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks. Mr Renard was also President of the Library Board of Victoria from 1995 to 2000 during which time substantial building renovations and service enhancements were undertaken at the State Library of Victoria. He is also a former Chair of the Archives Advisory Board at the University of Melbourne Archives.

Dr Philip Ayres BA PhD Adelaide FRHistS, FAHA

Philip Ayres has taught at Monash University, the University of Adelaide and in America as Visiting Professor at Vassar College and Boston University. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (London) in 1989 and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1999. Philip Ayres has published biographies of a number of major Australian civic figures including Owen Dixon (Carlton, Vic., Miegunyah Press, 2003), Douglas Mawson (Carlton South, Vic., Miegunyah Press, 1999) and Malcolm Fraser (Heinemann, Melbourne, 1987).

Professor Tim McCormack LLB Tas. PhD Mon.

Tim McCormack is the Foundation Australian Red Cross Professor of International Humanitarian Law at the University of Melbourne. He is also the Foundation Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law, a collaborative training and research venture between Melbourne Law School and the Australian Defence Force Legal Service. He has special research interests in the fields of international humanitarian law, international criminal law, arms control and disarmament, and international law and the use of force.

Dr. Margaret Simons DCA UTS

Margaret Simons is an award-winning freelance journalist and the author of numerous books, essays and articles. She is also the Director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne. Her recent work includes The Content Makers: Understanding the Future of the Australian Media and Faith, Money and Power: What the Religious Revival Means for Politics. The Content Makers was long listed for the non-fiction book award in the 2008 Walkley Awards. She is media commentator for the internet-based news service crikey.com.au and also writes for The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, Griffith Review, The Monthly and other publications. Simons recently collaborated with Malcolm Fraser on his memoirs, Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs, published by the University of Melbourne Press in 2010.

Mr Petro Georgiou, MP BA Melb.

Petro Georgiou was a Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser from 1975-79. He has held a number of important positions in the Liberal Party of Australia including Director, Liberal Policy Unit (1985-89) and State Director, Liberal Party (Vic.) (1989-94). He has also acted as Secretary, Ethnic Television Review Panel (1979-80) and Director, Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs 1980-85. Petro Georgiou was the Federal Member for Kooyong (Victoria) in the House of Representatives. He was first elected at a by-election in 1994 and was re-elected in 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2004.

Hon. Dr David Kemp BA Melb. LLB Melb. PhD Yale

David Kemp was a Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser from November 1975 until 1976 and Director of the Private Office of the Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser in 1981. He was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Melbourne from 1975 until 1979, and a Professor of Politics at Monash University from 1979 until becoming a Member of Parliament. He is currently a Fellow at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. David Kemp was, with DM White, co-editor of Malcolm Fraser on Australia, Melbourne: Hill of Content, 1986, a collection of extracts from Malcolm Fraser’s speeches.