Raphael Cilento in Medicine and Politics: Visions and Contradictions
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At the end of his working life as a medical bureaucrat, Raphael Cilento twice tried his hand at Australian federal politics. After an initial joust at a Senate seat, he was encouraged by the fledgling Australian Democratic Union to try the House of Representatives. His choice of electorate was heroic. The seat of McPherson (Qld) was held by Arthur Fadden, one time prime minister and perennial member for this Darling Downs electorate. Standing as an 'Independent Democrat', Cilento targeted the Italian community in Stanthorpe, a district where he picked up half the vote in his otherwise unsuccessful campaign. His candidature attracted some notice. Brisbane's Truth described Sir Raphael as 'the most distinguished Queenslander to ever enter the Federal political arena'. This might seem a little hyperbolic, but seen in the larger context of Cilento's national and international work, it was a defensible proposition. Seen literally, it is slightly less defensible since Cilento was not Queensland born. Rather, he came to adopt Queensland - and to seek to advance its standing as an example of successful white settlement of the tropics.
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Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)