John ‘Black Jack’ McEwen, leader of the federal Country Party and deputy Prime Minister, was Australia’s most significant and longest-serving Minister for Trade. His policies, known as ‘McEwenism,’ forged the nation’s post Second World War economic boom ushering in an era of unprecedented full employment and prosperity for all Australians. They assisted in building a modern industrial economy, a truly independent nation and underpinned Australia’s successful post war immigration program. As Prime Minister following Harold Holt’s tragic death in 1967, McEwen provided the calm and stable leadership the nation needed. ‘McEwenism,’ derided by the Right and dismantled by Left, is now being recognised for its pragmatic approach to successful economic and social policy. Now, in these times, it deserves our careful attention. This book challenges the assumptions of ‘McEwenism’, who ‘Black Jack’ was and what he achieved. And despite his legacy on our great nation, why he is a forgotten giant of Australian political history – is this because he was from the Country Party, or simply because he was from the country?
Bridget McKenzie: hailing from northern Victoria, Senator Bridget McKenzie was elected National Party Senator for Victoria in 2010. A graduate of Deakin University, she has served on numerous parliamentary committees, held several ministerial cabinet posts including serving as Australia’s first female Minister for Agriculture, and is currently The Nationals Leader in the Senate. Senator McKenzie is passionate about regional Australia and ensuring its immense contribution to Australia continues.