Attempted assassination of Arthur Calwell

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Attempted Assassination of Arthur Calwell
Location Mosman Town Hall, Sydney, Australia
Date 21 June 1966
Target Arthur Calwell
Attack type
assassination attempt
Weapons .22 shotgun
Non-fatal injuries
Victim Arthur Calwell
Perpetrator Peter Kocan

On 21 June 1966 an assassination attempt was made on Arthur Calwell then leader of the Australian Labour Party.[1] It was the second assassination attempt in Australian political history following Henry James O'Farrell's attempt on the life of Prince Alfred.

Assassination attempt[edit]

Calwell had just finished a rally at Mosman Town Hall and walked to his car. A 19-year-old man Peter Kocan approached with a .22 sawn-off rifle hidden in his overcoat. Calwell wound down his window, Kocan aimed the gun at Calwell's jugular and pulled the trigger. The window deflected the bullet and Calwell only suffered minor injuries.

Kocan was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served time at Sydney's Long Bay Gaol before being transferred to Morriset Psychiatric Hospital for the criminally insane, where he began to study literature, philosophy and history and write poetry. His work was eventually published and Kocan was released after ten years.[2][3][4]