A representation of one of Australia's Prime Minister's - Ben Chifley. Joseph Benedict (Ben) Chifley (1885-1951), prime minister and locomotive engine driver, was born on 22 September 1885 at Bathurst, New South Wales. He was the 16th Prime Minister of Australia. He took over the Australian Labor Party leadership and Prime Ministership after the death of John Curtin in 1945. Chifley Labor went on to retain a majority in both houses of Australian Parliament at the 1946 election, before his government was defeated in the lower house at the 1949 election.