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2 Aug 2023

Witness History: The Curtin And Chifley Statues in Canberra

As the longest-running tour company in the ACT, Canberra Guided Tours invites you to embark on a fascinating journey through time with a visit to the Curtin and Chifley statues in Canberra.

Commissioned in 2011, these statues pay homage to two of Australia’s most renowned Prime Ministers, John Curtin and Ben Chifley. Situated along their daily route to Parliament House, these sculptures offer more than mere artistry; they serve as a time machine hidden in plain sight, granting visitors a captivating glimpse into the life and legacy of Canberra during the transformative 1940s.

These statues pay homage to two influential Prime Ministers, John Curtin and Ben Chifley, and offer a fascinating glimpse into Australia’s political history. Join us as we delve into the history and significance of these statues, their impact on the changing landscape of Canberra, and the power of preserving history through art.

Curtin And Chifley’s Statues History and Location

The Curtin and Chifley statues, commissioned in 2011, serve as enduring tributes to two of Australia’s most renowned past Prime Ministers and Treasurers. Situated along the route these leaders walked daily to report to Parliament House, the statues offer a tangible connection to the past. John Curtin, the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, tragically passed away while in office, succeeded by Ben Chifley, who made a lasting impact on the nation’s post-war development. The strategic placement of these statues near Parliament House and the Hotel Kurrajong, where Labor ministers and members stayed, showcases the significance of their journey to and from work and the historical context of Canberra during the 1940s.

Significance Of These Statues to the Changing Landscape of Canberra

The Curtin and Chifley statues symbolise the evolution of Canberra and its political landscape. In the 1940s, political leaders, including Prime Ministers, could casually walk along public footpaths, engaging with the community. These statues serve as a nostalgic reminder of a bygone era, reflecting a time when accessibility and connection between leaders and citizens were more pronounced. 

Today, heightened security measures have transformed the way leaders move, making the sight of leaders walking the streets a rare occurrence. The statues stand as a testament to the changing times and progress, allowing visitors to appreciate the historical context and gain a deeper understanding of Canberra’s political heritage.

The Power Of Preserving History Through Art And Sculptures

Art, in the forms of literature, music, paintings and sculptures has a unique power to preserve and bring history to life. The Curtin and Chifley statues exemplify this, as they beautifully capture the essence and spirit of these influential Prime Ministers. Through careful craftsmanship, attention to detail, and meticulous placement along their historical route, these statues transport visitors back in time. 

Standing before these remarkable sculptures, one can’t help but be immersed in the stories of Curtin and Chifley, their contributions to the nation, and the significant role they played in shaping Australia’s history. It is a testament to the power of art to preserve and honour the past for future generations to appreciate.

As you embark on a tour of Canberra, make sure to include a visit to the Curtin and Chifley statues. Experience the rich history and significance these statues hold as they provide a glimpse into the political landscape of the 1940s. 

Canberra Guided Tours invites you to explore Canberra’s highlights, from its breathtaking wildlife to its renowned wineries, and the seasonal but vibrant delight brought by the Canberra Floriade Tour. Book your tour today and let our knowledgeable guides showcase the magic of Canberra.

 Book one of our tours today and don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in history and discover the hidden gems of Australia’s capital city. If you have a different itinerary in mind, we also offer private custom tours and step-on tour guide services. Join us and uncover the treasures of Canberra, guided by our passionate experts.