He is the son of Mungo Ballardie MacCallum (1913 - 1999) (a journalist and pioneer of television in Australia), and Diana Wentworth a great granddaughter of the Australian explorer and politician William Charles Wentworth (1790-1872). He is a nephew of William Charles Wentworth IV (1907-2003), Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives (1949-77) and a virulent anti-communist. He and his uncle, while agreeing on certain questions, were fundamentally of different political inclinations. His father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great great-grandfather were also called Mungo MacCallum.
Mungo MacCallum was educated at the elite Cranbrook School, a short walk from where he lived with his mother and father in his grandmother's house in Wentworth Street, Point Piper. After leaving school, Mungo MacCallum went to the University of Sydney where he obtained a BA with third-class honours.
Mungo MacCallum covered Australian federal politics from the Canberra Press Gallery for The Australian, The National Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, Nation Review and radio station 2JJ / Triple J in the 1970s and 1980s. MacCallum currently writes a column for The Byron Shire Echo,The Northern Star, frequently writes for the magazine The Monthly, and contributes political commentary to Australia's national Community Radio Network. Mungo MacCallum is also known for his centre-left, strongly pro-Australian Labor Party views, being critical both of the conservative Liberal and National Parties, and of the far left (e.g., communists) who attack Labor for its cautious reformism.
He has also authored several books, including Run, Johnny, Run written after the Australian federal election, 2004.
His autobiographical narrative of the Australian political scene, Mungo: the man who laughs - is currently in its fourth reprint. How To Be A Megalomaniac or, Advice to a Young Politician was published in 2002 and Political Anecdotes was published in 2003. In December 2004, Duffy & Snellgrove published War and Pieces: John Howard's last election.
- Pratt, Mel (1973) Interview with Mungo Wentworth MacCallum, Federal political correspondent Mel Pratt collection at the National Library of Australia
- Poll Dancing, December 2007, Black Inc. books
- Evolution Baby, October 2005, No.6, The Monthly
- The Vanishing. It wasn't the time, but he was the leader Labor had to have, May 2005, No.4, The Monthly
- From Nation To Now, May 2005, No.1, The Monthly
- Quarterly Essay 5 Girt By Sea: Australia, the Refugees and the Politics of Fear, March 2002, ISBN 978-1-86395-123-4
- Quarterly Essay 36 "AUSTRALIAN STORY: Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country, December 2009, ISBN 978-1-86395-457-0
- The Monthly. Articles by Mungo MacCallum for The Monthly
- In Conversation: Mungo MacCallum and Shane Maloney discuss the fall of John Howard and Mungo's account of the campaign, Poll Dancing published by Black Inc.
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