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Box that belonged to Arthur Calwell #2010-0277

Circular Ukrainian timber box with lid; box is painted black and has colourful geometric patterns in the centre of the lid and around the sides of the base.


This box 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 box is one of a set of hand-made artefacts presented to Arthur Calwell by the post-war Ukrainian community. The post-war migration sponsored by Calwell and both Labor and Liberal governments established a large Ukrainian Australian community which persists today.

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This box 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 box is significant as it documents the high regard held for Calwell, the first Minister for Immigration, by members of the Ukrainian immigrant community.


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

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

  • Box that belonged to Arthur CalwellBox that belonged to Arthur Calwell —


Depth 30mm
Diameter 72mm
Medium Timber; paint
Creator’s name Unknown
Date created Unknown