Recent research on Australia’s prime ministers
Each year the Australian Prime Ministers Centre supports a number of research projects into the history, origins, traditions and practice of Australian democracy, with a focus on Australia’s prime ministers. Fellowships support creative, academic or bibliographic projects by experienced researchers and artists, while Summer Scholarships are aimed at later year tertiary students who wish to develop their knowledge of prime ministerial studies. In 2010-2011, the Centre supported five Fellows and four Summer Scholars.
Topics researched in 2011 include:
- The three Country Party prime ministers (Earle Page, Arthur Fadden, and John McEwen) and how they each handled taking on leadership of a government in crisis.
- The regional policies of the Whitlam and Chifley Labor governments.
- The legacy of Prime Minister John Curtin and the Pacific battles that had a significant impact on Australia.
- A comparison of the three former prime ministerial homes which now operate as house museums and the influence these homes had on the prime ministers who lived there - Chifley Home (Bathurst), Curtin Family Home (Perth) and Home Hill (Devonport, the Lyons family home).
- John Curtin’s media legacy which developed new opportunities for public audiences to engage with political leaders and the Parliament.
- Alfred Deakin’s water resources policies.
- Hungarian refugees during the Menzies era.
- The involvement of the Bruce Government in the collection of official war art following the First World War.
- The economic stance of the Rudd government during the global financial crisis.