Today at the Library we farewelled one of our most generous benefactors, Michael Crouch AC, who died on 9 February. Mr Crouch was a longstanding and passionate supporter of the Library. Readers and visitors will enjoy the fruits of his vision, imagination and generosity for generations to come.
Michael Crouch is recognised as one of our country’s foremost businessmen. The list of Australian organisations and individuals he has supported over his lengthy career is a long and distinguished one. His support of the State Library was motivated largely by his love of his country and a sense that the Library has a uniquely important role in preserving the various histories of how Australia has come to be what it is. This interest has been reflected at the Library in his long term support for the prestigious annual National Biography Award. The Award was established to encourage the highest standards of writing in the fields of Australian biography and autobiography, and to promote public interest in these genres.
He supported an exciting contemporary addition to our gallery spaces in 2013 with the launch of the Amaze Gallery, dedicated to exhibiting an ever-changing display of the Library’s collections. It was the success of this gallery which led him to support the Library’s first major building project in our Mitchell building in over 50 years, with the establishment of extensive new galleries. When the Michael Crouch Family Galleries open later this year, major parts of our collection will go on permanent public display for the first time.
Michael is one of the most significant benefactors in the Library’s history. His name stands alongside those of David Scott Mitchell, Sir William Dixson and Jean Garling. Late last year we were honoured to present him with The Medal of the Library Council of New South Wales, the highest honour conferred by the Library Council.
Our thoughts are with Michael’s wife Shanny and their three children Charlotte, Sarah and George.