James Henry Scullion (Scullin)

James Henry Scullion (Scullin)

Anyone travelling through the Cavan will have seen a quaint, well maintained thatched cottage which was the family home of John Scullion, who emigrated to Australia in his 20’s to work on the railways. John was later joined by his wife Ann (née Logan). The couple had eight children.

Their fourth child, James Henry, was born in Trawalla, Victoria on 18th September 1876. James was an Australian Labour Party politician and became the ninth Prime Minister of Australia. He joined the party in 1903 and was active as a political organiser and newspaper editor for the party. He was elected to the House of Representatives first in 1910 and then again in 1922 until 1949. He quickly established himself as a leading voice in parliament, rapidly rising to become Deputy Leader of the party in 1927 and then Leader of the Opposition in 1928. As leader, his government won the 1929 election just a short time before the Wall Street Crash which led to the Great Depression. The ensuing crisis led to splits in the party and the fall of the government in late 1931.

Despite his chaotic term of office, Scullion remained a leading figure in the Labour movement throughout his lifetime, and served with great distinction and influence in various capacities for the party until his retirement in 1949.

Although disappointed with his own term of office, he nonetheless lived long enough to see many of his government’s ideas implemented by subsequent governments before his death in 1953.

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