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Mungo Ballardie MacCullum

1913 – 1999

Mungo Ballardie McCallum (1913-1999), journalist, novelist and poet, was the third in the McCallum dynasty of scholars, writers and academics. He joined the Sydney Morning Herald as a cadet in 1933, and a few years later, declared unfit for war service, he became the editor of the military journal Salt. In 1952 he began work at the ABC, where he wrote some powerful radio scripts. After a stint at the BBC funded by the Imperial Relations Trust, he returned to Australia in 1956 for the opening of ABC television, subsequently spending several years as an interviewer and moderator. Throughout the 1960s he wrote criticism for Nation, an intellectual journal; when he left the magazine, the young Bob Ellis took over his column. Known as an elegant man about town and entertaining interlocutor, McCallum produced plays, poems, essays, an autobiography and two novels over the course of his career. His son with Diana Wentworth, also named Mungo McCallum, became one of Australia's leading political journalists.

Updated 2018