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Monday, 15 June 2009
Page: 6024

Ms PARKE (6:47 PM) —John Curtin, former federal member for Fremantle and one of our greatest prime ministers, was an extraordinary figure in Australian history. He and his family lived in a modest house at 24 Jarrad Street, Cottesloe, which was then located in the federal electorate of Fremantle. The home in which the Curtin family lived for many years did not receive the attention it deserved. It sadly deteriorated over time and has not been open to the public. On 22 May the federal government announced that $580,000 from the heritage component of the Jobs Fund would be allocated to restore John Curtin’s house and preserve its history under the care of the National Trust of Australia WA and Curtin University of Technology. As Senator John Faulkner said when announcing the funds:

… this ordinary Australian home is, I think, part of an extraordinary Australian story. It tells us about the private life of a very public figure. After making a speech, after meeting electors, after campaign meetings, this is the place John Curtin came back to for a cuppa or a sing-along or to read the newspaper or listen to the wireless.

…            …            …

This house tells us a great deal about why. It is part of our national story. Its preservation will allow many more Australians to know and understand more about one of our greatest leaders.

As the current member for Fremantle and as a proud member of the Labor Party, to which Curtin gave so much, I am pleased, as are my constituents, that this house will be preserved and recognised as an important part of our nation’s history.