Skip to the content
Content starts here

Melbourne Cricket Ground Trustee Badge that belonged to Arthur Calwell #2010-0271

Small gold, blue and red oval Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) Trustee Badge with a pin on the back; attached by a short white cord to a shield-shaped membership token. Badge is housed in a patterned cardboard box with ‘HON. A. A. CALWELL, M.P.’ inscribed on an attached label.

History

This badge is part of a collection of objects that belonged to Arthur Calwell, Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49), that were donated to the museum by his daughter, Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell.

This badge belonged to Arthur Calwell. Calwell was appointed a trustee of the MCG in 1931, representing football interests, and was Chairman of the Trustees 1952-73, during which time the MCG was an important venue for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. In 1955 Calwell helped resolve a dispute over the location of these Olympic Games: Prime Minister Menzies convened a meeting with Calwell, who was deputy Opposition Leader at the time, as well as Victorian Premier John Cain and other key figures. After three days of debate it was agreed that the Federal Government’s preferred venue, the MCG, would be the main arena for the games.

The significance of the MCG was recognised in 2005 when it was added to the National Heritage List. The MCG hosts Australian Football League matches in winter as well as international cricket matches during the summer, and is one of the largest sports stadiums in the world, and the largest in Australia.

Show Statement of values
Hide Statement of values

Statement of values

This badge is significant as part of the Arthur Calwell collection, which is comprised of a selection of objects that belonged to Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49), Arthur Calwell. The collection is significant as a whole because it tells a story about a leading Commonwealth parliamentarian of the middle decades of the twentieth century and includes highly personal material which tells of Calwell’s family life, his life-long involvement in Labor politics, and his personal religious convictions. The Arthur Calwell collection at the museum uniquely links the personal with the political, thus affording an opportunity to conduct research which tells a rounded story of this important parliamentarian.

This badge is significant because it is evidence of the high significance of sport in the interests and public life of an important civic and political leader in Victorian affairs in the 1920s and 30s, Calwell, who later became an important Federal minister. Calwell’s role at the MCG was also significant in resolving a dispute that threatened to force the relocation of the 1956 Olympic Games.

Reference:

Calwell, Arthur, Be just and fear not, Victoria: Hawthorn, 1972.

Kiernan, Colm, Calwell: a personal and political biography, Melbourne: Thomas Nelson, 1978.

  • Melbourne Cricket Ground Trustee Badge that belonged to Arthur CalwellMelbourne Cricket Ground Trustee Badge that belonged to Arthur Calwell —

Details

Width 31mm
Height 133mm
Depth 7mm
Medium Metal; rope; cardboard; paper
Creator’s name Unknown
Date created 1972