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image icon John Curtin's family home in Cottesloe, 1943 - asset 2

John Curtin's family home in Cottesloe, 1943 - asset 2
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library


This is a photograph taken in 1943 of Prime Minister John Curtin's family home at 24 Jarrad Street, Cottesloe, Western Australia. The house is brick with a tiled roof and the front veranda has been enclosed with weatherboards and windows.

Educational value

This resource is useful because it:

  • This asset depicts the home of John Curtin, Australia's Prime Minister from 1941 to 1945 - Curtin moved to Western Australia in 1917 to take up the editorship of the state's Labor newspaper and this house was his family home from 1923 until his death in 1945.
  • This asset shows a modest suburban house in a beachside suburb of Perth - the house reflected the modest financial circumstances and plain domestic tastes of John Curtin and his wife, Elsie.
  • This asset is an example of a basic four-roomed brick bungalow skirted by a timber veranda on three sides, built in the first half of the 20th century in Perth - family memory suggests John Curtin paced the verandas as he composed his speeches or editorials; the house was built by the Curtins in 1923 and it remained in the family until it was bought by the Western Australian and Federal Governments in 1999.
  • This asset shows the common practice of enclosing the verandas of houses as more space was needed for growing families - by 1924 the house had to accommodate not only John and Elsie and their two young children, but Elsie's widowed mother as well, and so the front and side verandas were enclosed, initially with lattice work but later with weatherboards and windows, to create a 'sleep-out'.
  • This asset shows a basic front garden with a few shrubs and trees and a picket fence - family memory records that John Curtin liked 'pottering around' in the garden although he definitely lacked a 'green thumb'; Curtin would not have had much time to garden after he entered parliament, which necessitated long periods spent in Canberra away from his home, particularly after he became Leader of the Opposition (1935) and then Prime Minister of Australia (1941-45).
  • This asset provides a contrast with much grander present-day homes of former prime ministers.