Question:

Who is John Curtin?

Edmund Barton

Edmund Barton (1849–1920)
Edmund Barton was born in Glebe, New South Wales and became Australia's first prime minister. He was a very good student who was captain of his school and won many prizes at university. He worked as a lawyer in Sydney and in 1879 became a member of the New South Wales Parliament.
Barton believed that the Australian colonies should join together (federate) and become one nation and he made many speeches to convince other people to support the idea. In 1901, when the Australian states joined together (federated), Barton was asked to be the stand-in prime minister until elections could be held. He was then elected as prime minister. In 1903 he left the Commonwealth Parliament to become a High Court judge.

In Canberra, all of the older suburbs are named after prime ministers of Australia. One of the first suburbs was named 'Barton'. He has also been commemorated on stamps.

Dampier, William

[dam'pEr]
Dampier, William , 1651?–1715, English explorer and buccaneer. He fought (1673) in the Dutch War, managed a plantation in Jamaica, then worked with logwood cutters in Honduras (1675–78). After taking part in a buccaneering expedition against Spanish America (1679–81), he sailed from Virginia in 1683 on a piratical voyage along the coast of Africa, across the Atlantic, and around Cape Horn to prey on Spanish cities on the west coast of South America. The party split up, and Dampier joined a group that crossed to the Philippines. Dampier was marooned (probably voluntarily) on the Nicobar Islands. After many hardships, he returned to England in 1691. He published an account of his experiences in A New Voyage round the World (1697), supplemented by Voyages and Descriptions (1699), which included Discourse of Trade-Winds, a masterly treatise on hydrography. Dampier was made a naval officer and commanded an expedition (1699–1701) to Australia, New Guinea, and New Britain (which he discovered to be an island and named). Other discoveries included Dampier Archipelago and Dampier Strait. His vessel, the Roebuck, finally foundered off Ascension island. Dampier commanded an unsuccessful privateering expedition (1703–7) in the course of which Alexander Selkirk was voluntarily marooned. Dampier's account was published in his Voyage to New Holland (Part I, 1703; Part II, 1709). Though an excellent hydrographer and navigator, he proved an incompetent commander, guilty of drunkenness and overbearing conduct. He was pilot to Woodes Rogers on a voyage around the world (1708–11).
See editions of Dampier's writings by J. Masefield (1906) and Sir Albert Gray (1927, repr. 1968); biographies by J. Shipman (1962) and C. Lloyd (1966).

Sir Douglas Nicholls

Sir Douglas Nicholls (1906–1988)
Douglas Nicholls was born in Cumeroogunga, near the Murray River in New South Wales, and was Australia's first Aboriginal state governor. He was excellent at sport and played football for Fitzroy and Victoria. He was just as good at running and boxing. His great uncle, William Cooper, was an important Aboriginal leader.
Nicholls was a social worker and a minister of the Church of Christ who worked for the rights of Aboriginal people. He spent a lot of his life working for groups that helped Aboriginal people, including the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation and the Aborigines' League of Advancement in Victoria. He was awarded two medals by Queen Elizabeth II and was made Sir Douglas Nicholls in 1972 because of his work for Aboriginal Australians. He was made Governor of South Australia in 1976. He had only held office for a few months when he became too sick to work. He died in 1988 after suffering a stroke.

A suburb in Canberra and a sports field in Melbourne are named after him.

Lachlan Macquarie

Lachlan Macquarie (1762–1824)
Lachlan Macquarie was the governor of the colony of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821. He had many buildings, roads and bridges constructed and began the first proper town planning in New South Wales. He also treated ex-convicts like everyone else. Many free settlers did not like this. They complained to the government in Britain about Macquarie. He, in turn, complained about them. Although he worked hard and was good at his job, he did not like criticism.
After Macquarie had been the governor for more than 10 years, the British Government appointed a judge called Bigge to report on the way the colony was run. Bigge reported that Macquarie had made mistakes in the way he ran things. Macquarie was disappointed by this and later returned to England.

There are many places in New South Wales named after Macquarie, including a river, streets and a lake. His picture has also appeared on stamps.

Deakin, Alfred

Deakin, Alfred [dE'kin]

Deakin, Alfred , 1856–1919, Australian political leader. He held office in various ministries and aided in the fight for federation of the Australian states. He accomplished a great deal in social legislation, irrigation, defense, and preferential tariffs. At first attorney general of Australia (1901), he later was prime minister in three different fusion governments (1903–4, 1905–8, 1909–10).

John Curtin

John Curtin, 1885–1945, Australian political leader. A labor union secretary, he edited (1917–28) a labor weekly and was later a member of the lower house—from 1928 to 1941, except for three years. He became Labour party leader. As wartime prime minister (1941–45), he vigorously organized the defense of Australia in World War II, working closely with the United States; he also helped plan closer cooperation within the Commonwealth of Nations. He died in office.

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