2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of Dame Pattie Menzies Centre Inc.
Pictured: Dame Pattie Menzies; Kath Cooper, Shire President; and Senator Margaret Guilfoyle, Commonwealth Minister for Finance at the centre opening on 14th March, 1981.
Below is an excerpt from the DPMC newsletter, 30th anniversary edition, 2011:
In the mid seventies it became obvious to quite a few Alexandra people that there was a need for services to be developed that catered for the needs of people with disabilities.
The Lions Club of Alexandra were looking for a project and saw this as being worthy. Disability field entrepreneur Graham Colling was approached for advice.
At the time, he was the Director of the Melba Centre at Mount Evelyn.
A local survey confirmed the need. Frank Buckman, John O’Brien and David Morris visited Dame Pattie Menzies in Malvern to ask her to give her name to the concept.
On 19 October, 1978 Dame Pattie wrote back:
“If my name will help you…I would be pleased for you to use my name”.
The objects that were drawn up at that time, illustrate that, from the very beginning, DPMC has been exceedingly philosophically sound.
“The Mount” was on the market and the DPMC Trustees and Committee asked the Federal Government to provide the purchase amount.
The answer came back that money was not available from the 79/80 Budget. The Committee decided to raise $50,000 (one third of purchase price).
Based on this commitment and the promise of Federal Government funds, ”The Mount” was secured with a $5000 deposit. After gigantic local fund-raising, a great deal of disappointment and, finally, Government financial support, “The Mount” was fully paid for in September, 1983.