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Explore life in the 1940s

Please explore the stories and and resources developed to explore life in the 1940s.


"The Light on the Hill" speech by Ben Chifley

Read the full transcript of Ben Chifley’s “Light on the Hill” speech, delivered at the 1949 ALP Conference. The “light on the hill” phrase has resonated down the years as epitomising the Labor philosophy.

Light on the Hill Speech

Ben at Home

This interview with an actor playing Ben Chifley celebrates the 75th anniversary of Ben Chifley becoming Australia’s 16th Prime Minister.

Presented by the Bathurst Visitor Information Centre and Museums Bathurst, Ben at Home is written by David Hay with special thanks to historian Sam Malloy and introduces Vince Melton as ‘Chif’. Produced by Ribbon Gang Advertising Agency.

This episode of Ben at Home is the first in a series about Ben and Elizabeth Chifley.

 Sit back and enjoy the presentation.

An Evening with a Local Statesman

‘An Evening with a Local Statesman’ is a presentation to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Ben Chifley becoming the 16th Prime Minister of Australia. Presented by the Bathurst & District Historical Society by Kim Bagot-Hiller, Archivist at the Bathurst and District Historical Society and Great Great Niece of Ben Chifley. Her grandmother Mary Burdette (Burdie) Chifley was Ben’s eldest niece.

Mrs Chifley's Recipes

Make cakes, deserts and even soap from Mrs Chifley’s Recipes

Railway Cake. – Take on and a half cups of flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons milk, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, drop of essence. Rub the butter, baking powder and salt into the flour, beat eggs and sugar well together; add milk ad mix into the flour. Bake in a flat tin in a quick oven.

More Recipes

Ben and Elizabeth Chifley

Joseph Benedict Chifley, known to friends and public as Ben or Chif, was born in Bathurst on 22 September 1885.

Elizabeth Gibson McKenzie, Lizzie to friends, was born on 1 August 1886 only metres from No.10 Busby Street.

Learn more about Ben and Elizabeth with these information sheets and activities




An Evening with a Local Statesman

Life in the 1940s

Step back in time to the 1940s and learn about life in a different era