Wired for Power

Discarded by a tradesman, this small cardboard electrical installation tag lay silent and forgotten for decades in the darkness of the roof of the Chifley family house in Bathurst. In the rooms below, the residents lived out their lives as the Great Depression and World War II unfolded. In 1914, Bathurst-born Ben Chifley (1885-1951) and […]

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Silken Diplomacy

Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Chifley liked to knit. On the wall of her rendered brick cottage at 10 Busby Street, Bathurst, nearby the comfortable sage green armchair where she often sat to pursue her craft, this beautiful Chinese scroll had been hanging since about 1948. Lizzie was Prime Minister Ben Chifley’s wife, and this was their home, […]

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Surrendered Symbolism

Swords and daggers conjure up images of hand-to-hand combat; brutal, bloody and deadly. But it is likely that these examples were never wielded against an enemy. Though they were carried on the belt as part of the uniform of a Japanese military officer during World War II, this sword and dagger had a deeper purpose […]

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A Living Tradition

Based on extensive research undertaken by  Yorta Yorta artist Treahna Hamm, this contemporary possum skin cloak was crafted in 2007. The prominent incisor tooth from a possum’s lower jaw was used to etch the non-furry side of the skin with designs that represent the totem and personal markings of Aboriginal people, as well as the […]

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Out of the Handbag

Elizabeth, or ‘Lizzie’, Chifley, the wife to Australia’s sixteenth Prime Minister Ben Chifley, lived well-away from the glare of her husband’s public life. She spent most of her time at the Chifley home at 10 Busby Street in Bathurst, which was a modest painted-brick cottage located in a working-class area of town. Remaining inside their […]

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