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Mungo MacCallum
, 1968

by Judy Cassab

oil on canvas (frame: 135.2 cm x 116.5 cm, sight: 121.8 cm x 102.2 cm)

Mungo Ballardie MacCallum (1913-1999), journalist, novelist and poet, was the third in the MacCallum 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. Known as an elegant man-about-town and entertaining interlocutor, MacCallum produced plays, poems, essays, an autobiography and two novels over the course of his career. His son with Diana Wentworth, also named Mungo MacCallum, became one of Australia's leading political journalists.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.20