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Other Australian prime ministers

Other Australian World War Two prime ministers are the focus of a number of JCPML online resources. The Museum of Australian Democracy maintains a useful resource listing all the Australian prime ministers since Federation.

Menzies and Curtin in World War Two: A comparative essay by David Black

Robert Menzies and John Curtin were very different in personality, style and philosophy and faced different scenarios in their terms as Prime Ministers of Australia in World War Two. This essay compares the two leaders in four key areas: running the war effort; defining Australia’s place on the world stage; dealing with party politics, elections and the press; and visions for Australia. In addition, eminent historians and commentators provide contemporary perspectives on the two men as wartime leaders. A variety of photographs, cartoons, documents and film and audio clips accompany the resource.

Menzies, Fadden, Curtin and the Japanese Envoy

Explore the relationships between Australia’s three prime ministers of 1941 – Robert Menzies, Arthur Fadden and John Curtin – and the new Japanese envoy to Australia, Tatsuo Kawai. Kawai’s relationship with Curtin was by far the most intense, and friendly contact between their families continued for decades after.

The Art of the possible: Creating an independent Australian foreign policy

This online exhibition explores Australia’s growing independence in the realm of foreign policy from 1935 to 1950. Virtual reality tours and selected content from the original exhibition are featured. The travelling exhibition based on the major exhibition is also available online.

‘Doing the best for the country’: Behind the scenes of Australia’s wartime decision-making 1939-45

Five Prime Ministers served Australia during the war years – Menzies, Fadden, Curtin, Forde and Chifley. The nation’s key decision-making bodies, the Cabinet, War Cabinet and Advisory War Council, decided the direction of the war effort in meetings held mainly at Parliament House in Canberra and Victoria Barracks in Melbourne, supported by the hard work and dedication of staff in the Prime Minister’s Department and the War Cabinet Secretariat. This web publication takes you inside the walls of the offices and meeting places where the course of the war was directed and invites you to explore the stories of the places and people who worked there.