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John Curtin’s activism a focus for visiting scholar

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John Curtin’s activism during the First World War and the comparison to modern day Australia’s response to war was the focus of the 2014 John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML) Visiting Scholar Lecture on Monday 24 November.

Professor Deborah Gare, delivered the lecture titled “John Curtin’s First War”, which examined John Curtin’s actions during the First World War.

“Though John Curtin is remembered principally for his role as Australia’s war-time prime minister from 1942-1945, there is much more to his political life than those final three years,” Professor Gare said.

“John Curtin fought against government surveillance, conscription, militarism and press censorship.

“His actions during the First World War lends itself to a powerful point of comparison to the way in which modern Australia responds to crisis.”

Professor Gare is an author and Australian history lecturer from The University of Notre Dame. Her book, When War Came to Fremantle, 1899-1945, which she co-authored with Madison Lloyd-Jones, was recently released.

Professor Gare conducted her research using the JCPML Archival Collection during September and October this year.

Previous JCMPL visiting scholars have included foreign policy commentator and former adviser to Prime Minister Paul Keating, Dr Michael Fullilove; Chief Economist HSBC, Dr John Edwards; historian Professor Marilyn Lake and John Curtin’s great grandson and poet, Dr Toby Davidson.

For information about the lecture and the JCPML, please visit

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