Entering Parliament
In November 1928, on his next attempt at entering Federal Parliament, Curtin won the seat of Fremantle, and for the next three years he spent a considerable amount of time away from Perth. As his biographer Lloyd Ross recounts, Curtin felt that Parliament met too far from home and his home life suffered [3]. With the relocation to Canberra, Curtin found himself there for months at a time. Although the parliamentary sittings provided a break from Friday to Monday so that Melbourne and Sydney members could return home, the distance from Perth made a trip home impossible for Curtin.


John Curtin at Ooldea, c 1930

John Curtin (second from right) enjoys stretching his legs at the Trans Australian siding of Ooldea as he makes one of his long journeys across the Nullarbor circa 1930.

Photograph: JCPML. Records of JS Battye Library of West Australian History. John Curtin at Ooldea, c 1930. JCPML00139/79
Courtesy Battye Library, 4706P.


His wife and two young children, Elsie and John, moved with him to Canberra for a few months to help him settle in, with the children attending school there for the first term of 1929.

John Curtin and family, Melbourne, 1928

John and Elsie Curtin with their children pictured during their stop-over in Melbourne in 1928, en route to Canberra.

Photograph: John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records of the Curtin Family. John Curtin and family, Melbourne, 1928. JCPML00382/32.


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