Council Gifted Extraordinary Monash Portrait

As the world marks 99 years since one of the most successful advances was made by Allied Forces during World War I, Murrumbidgee Council has announced it is now the proud owner of a Sir John Monash portrait.

The magnificent 120cm X 90cm painting, by award-winning artist Peter Smeeth, will officially be unveiled at this year’s annual Monash Dinner on Friday, 24 November in Jerilderie. Mr Smeeth, who was born in Griffith NSW, won this year’s prestigious Archibald Packer’s Prize with his portrait of Today Show host Lisa Wilkinson.

The Monash painting was generously donated to Council by Miriam Berman.

Following the death of her husband Ted, Mrs Berman was keen to find a home where the painting would truly be appreciated.

After contacting former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, Mrs Berman’s search ended in Jerilderie.

Mr Fischer is author of the book, Maestro John Monash: Australia's Greatest Citizen General and is leading the movement to posthumously promote Monash to the rank of field marshal.

“I am sure that Ted would be pleased to know that this portrait will be going to the people of Jerilderie, where Monash spent his childhood,” Mrs Berman said.

Council’s General Manager Craig Moffitt said it seemed only fitting the news of the donation be revealed on the 99th anniversary of the Battle of Amiens, which took place on 8 August 1918.

The battle was led by General Monash, when all five divisions of the Australian forces were fighting together for the first time under Australian command.

“We are extremely fortunate to have had this fantastic piece donated to Jerilderie,” Mr Moffitt said,

“Given that momentum is building with the case for Sir John Monash to be promoted in accordance with the Jerilderie Proposition, Council is delighted to accept this wonderful painting, it will anchor our efforts supporting the promotion of Monash .”