A statue of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, a philanthropist and matriarch of the Murdoch family, stands in the entrance foyer of the Frankston Arts Centre, welcoming visitors.
Frankston City Council and the Murdoch family wanted to celebrate Elisabeth’s devotion to the arts community, so they commissioned the sculptor Peter Corlett to create the sculpture. Corlett sculpted it based on a photo of her from her 90th birthday, depicting her in her senior years, smiling, her hands open in a welcoming gesture. On November 29th, 2013, Elisabeth’s daughters, Anne Kantor and Janet Calvert-Jones, unveiled it in a community ceremony.
Elisabeth Greene Murdoch (1909-2012) was born and raised in Melbourne. In 1928, she married Keith Murdoch, 23 years her senior, a journalist, editor, and newspaper manager. They had four children. While her husband built their media business, Elisabeth focused on volunteering work.
When Keith died in 1952, Elisabeth inherited most of his fortune, and their son, Rupert, expanded the family news business into a global media empire. Over the years, Elisabeth’s philosophy and involvement increased in many of Melbourne and Australia’s institutions, including the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Australian Ballet, and the Botanic Gardens.
Among the many awards she received for her work is the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Civil Division (DBE) for her role in building a new children’s hospital in Melbourne (1963), Companion of the Order of Australia, Civil Division (AC) for serving the community (1989), the Centenary Medal (2001), the key to the city of Melbourne (2003) and the Victorian of the Year (2005). Several institutions and parks were renamed after her, including the Elisabeth Murdoch Arboretum and the Elisabeth Murdoch College.
Murdoch family matriarch and much-loved community patron Dame Elisabeth Murdoch has died peacefully aged 103. Read more here: http://bit.ly/XqaDws
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