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Blog post from Monday, 13 July, 2015

On this day, 13th July 1945, Ben Chifley was sworn into office as Australia’s fifth wartime Prime Minister.

Joseph Benedict Chifley was born in 1885, in Bathurst, NSW, the son of a blacksmith. Chifley worked as a railway engineer and was an active member of the Labor Party before entering the Parliament. He became the 16th Prime Minister of Australia from 1945 until 1949.

His government effectively implemented initiatives including the post-war immigration scheme, the establishment of Australian citizenship, the Snowy Mountains Scheme and the Commonwealth Employment Service. He remained Prime Minister until his defeat by Robert Menzies and the Liberal Party in 1949. Two years later, Chifley died of a heart attack.