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Margaret Whitlam Galleries

Billy Hughes at War A Museum of Australian Democracy travelling exhibition

Billy Hughes at War


Australian Prime Minister, William Morris (Billy) Hughes standing on ammunition boxes to address Australian troops near Amiens in France, July 1918.
Australian War Memorial


The arrival of William Morris Hughes in London to attend the Imperial War Conference
15 June 1918
National Library of Australia

With the Diggers

Prime Minister William (Billy) Hughes being carried along George Street, September 1919. (National Library of Australia)

Who threw that egg?

Jim Case, Australian Pioneer Co-op Labor Journal
27 December 1917
National Library of Australia

Museum of Australian Democracy

Female Orphan School, Parramatta Campus (View Map)
4 - 27 Aug 2010
Monday - Friday, 10.00 am - 4. 00 pm.

Billy Hughes at War

Discover one of Australia's most extraordinary political characters in Billy Hughes at War.

The exhibition explores William Morris (Billy) Hughes’s journey to become Prime Minister, and his leadership during the First World War.

A complex and controversial figure, he was known as a man of extremes, inspiring admiration and provoking hatred in equal measure. His attempts to introduce conscription caused huge rifts, in political parties and the nation. Hughes supported the British Empire but also stood up for Australian interests against other Allied leaders at the negotiations for the Peace Treaty at Versailles in France. Hughes often disregarded social and political conventions, yet won support with his eloquence and wit. He was shrewd and wily, and became known, for his championing of the Australian troops, as ‘The Little Digger’.

Billy Hughes at War was developed by the Museum of Australian Democracy and the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne with funding from The Department of Veterans' Affairs.