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The sculpture and mosaic pavement art work commemorate Sir John `Black Jack` McEwen, who was a Federal politician and the leader of the Country Party from 1958 to 1971.  He was Country Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister for nearly 13 years from 1958 until his retirement in 1971.

The sculpture coincides with 100 years since the Country Party formed and, along with a new mosaic, is intended to represent regional Australia in the parliamentary zone.  

The cast bronze full body sculpture stands at the centre of a new mosaic symbolising the States and Territories, and industries important to regional Australia, with seven branches.  McEwen is depicted standing over bags of wheat.

Sir John McEwen, GCMG, CH (1900-1980) became Australia’s 18th Prime Minister on 19 December 1967 after Harold Holt’s disappearance. Before becoming Prime Minister, McEwen, as Australian Country Party Leader, was the second most senior member of the Government and had acted as Prime Minister for 463 days. After the Liberal Party elected a new Leader on 10 January 1968, he became the nation’s first formally titled Deputy Prime Minister.

Born in Chiltern, Victoria and orphaned at a young age, McEwen went on to be elected to Parliament in 1934, entering the Ministry in 1937. He served in the War Cabinet under Robert Menzies and acted to prevent the Japanese from potentially using New Caledonia as a base against Australia in World War Two – something he regarded as his greatest achievement.

From 1949 he controlled key ministries responsible for trade, negotiating many international agreements, notably the historic Australia-Japan Agreement on Commerce, signed in July 1957.

His tariff­ policies developed manufacturing industries, employing millions of post-war migrants, while enhanced pricing and marketing programs supported the competitiveness of Australian farmers. Menzies had long recognised McEwen’s strength and prime ministerial potential. However, McEwen rejected overtures to change parties, saying that to leave the Country Party was ‘unthinkable’.

McEwen retired in February 1971 after more than 36 years in Parliament, being succeeded as Party Leader by Doug Anthony.

The Australian Country Party, known today as the National Party of Australia, was formed on 22 January 1920. The Sir John McEwen Memorial commemorates the Party’s centenary.

Over 100 years, the Party maintained continuous representation in the Parliament of Australia. In all Coalition Governments its Leader was electively Deputy Prime Minister and on three separate occasions was appointed Prime Minister.

Originally a farmers’ party, the Party broadened its policies to be representative of all interests across rural and regional Australia, dedicated to improving development and opportunity for those living and working beyond the capital cities.

The Party has brought a balance to politics, ensuring debate is not dominated by city-based politicians.




Address:Queen Victoria Terrace, Parliamentary Triangle, Parkes, 2600
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.446392
Long: 144.984104
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Federal
Designer:Pavement: Artwork Designers – Rob Tindal, Shane Cargill
Artist:Lis Johnson (Barkers Creek, VIC)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 11th December, 2020
Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au