“His country was his pride
His brother man his cause”
Nominating a Candidate for the John Curtin Medal
The following information should be noted when nominating a candidate for the John Curtin Medal:
- Nominations must be made by current Curtin staff members
- Current Curtin staff members are not eligible for nomination
- Current Curtin students are eligible for nomination
- Candidates should not be contacted for information
- Nominations must address all the selection criteria
- Nominations must be received before the closing date.
Nominators must make sure that they carefully read the John Curtin Medal Procedures to ensure that their nomination meets the guidelines.
Note: Nominations are now closed.
- Nominations are assessed by the Honorary Awards and Appointments Committee and candidates worthy of receiving the John Curtin Medal are advised to the Council Executive Committee
- The recommendations of the Council Executive Committee are presented to the Curtin Council for the final decision
- Successful nominees are notified in October to determine their availability to attend the John Curtin Medals Ceremony.
The John Curtin Medal is named after the Right Honourable John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 to 1945, who is recognised as one of Australia’s greatest statesmen.
Born in Victoria on 8 January 1885, Mr Curtin moved to Perth in 1917 to become editor of a trade union newspaper. In 1928 he was elected as Member for Fremantle in the House of Representatives and in 1935 was elected leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party and therefore Leader of the Opposition.He was sworn in as Prime Minister on 7 October 1941 when the government of the day resigned after losing a vote in the House of Representatives.
Curtin remains the only Prime Minister to represent a Western Australian seat in Federal Parliament. Curtin assumed office just six weeks before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and led Australia through some of the nation’s darkest days.Due to the many heavy burdens of office, and within weeks of final victory in the Pacific, he died on 5 July 1945 at the age of 60. A crowd of more than 20,000 attended his funeral in Perth.
His grave is marked by an obelisk with the epitaph:
‘His country was his pride, his brother man his cause’
John Curtin’s Greatest Achievements
John Curtin left an enduring legacy to the Australian people. Among his greatest contributions were:
- his role in developing an independent foreign policy to replace the previous colonial dependence on Great Britain
- the forgoing of a strategic alliance with the United States, a policy shift representing a radical, difficult and controversial change of outlook for the nation
- the overhaul of the national economy, emphasising the maintenance of full employment as a major objective of government
- the sound judgement he exercised in making extremely difficult decisions under immense pressure while Australia was in a state of war
- his achievement in rising above party politics to unite Australia’s war effort
- leadership in laying the foundation for post-war reconstruction and progressive social legislation, reflected in the introduction of widows’ pensions, sickness and unemployment benefits and the beginning of a national health scheme.
John Curtin medallists
Since its inauguration in 1998 the John Curtin Medal established by Curtin University has been used to recognise members of the community who shared John Curtin’s attributes of vision, leadership and community service.
Facilities, scholarships and programs
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library
The John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML) is Australia’s first prime ministerial library.
A purpose-built archival and educational facility, the JCPML has an active public program incorporating an education program for schools, public lectures and other events.
John Curtin Gallery
The John Curtin Gallery is a world-class gallery that hosts local, national and international exhibitions.
The mission of the John Curtin Gallery is to bring to its audiences, both within Curtin University and well beyond it, opportunities to experience and engage with the art, visual culture and critical thought of our time.
The Gallery also houses a permanent exhibition on the life and times of John Curtin.
Scholarships named in honour of John Curtin are available for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
John Curtin Weekend
John Curtin Weekend is Curtin Volunteers! largest community project, with 2019 marking its twentieth year. With over 500 volunteers travelling to more than 40 participating regional towns and metropolitan sites to work on a range of initiatives, the experience offered by John Curtin Weekend (JCW) is unique.