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.
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.