Articles on Gough Whitlam

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Australia’s political representatives have the ability to legislate on a wide range of matters. Marriage is one of them. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Explainer: what is parliament’s role in the marriage equality debate?

As the government hints the marriage equality plebiscite may be delayed until 2017, calls intensify for the parliament to legislate on the issue instead. So what is parliament's role here?
Vincent Lingiari looks on as Prime Minister Gough Whitlam swigs champagne after the symbolic handback of the Gurindji people’s land. Rob Wesley-Smith

An historic handful of dirt: Whitlam and the legacy of the Wave Hill Walk-Off

A new book reveals the drama and comedy of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam's famous "hand back" of Gurindji land in 1975, following the Wave Hill Walk-Off 50 years ago – and the bittersweet aftermath.
Housing costs are driving poorer families into areas with fewer and fewer opportunities. Kate Ausburn/flickr

Smart cities wouldn’t let housing costs drive the worse-off into deeper disadvantage

The 2016 articulation of an urban agenda assumes building more highways, railways and trams will produce better, more productive cities that somehow give everyone a job.
The 1975 crisis surrounding the dismissal of the Whitlam government was brought about in part by the nature of Australia’s constitutional arrangements. NLA

What might The Dismissal’s legacy mean for an Australian republic push?

Is the Dismissal a moment that will become even more significant if the push for Australia to become a republic gains momentum?
Gough Whitlam speaks on the steps of parliament on November 11, 1975, surrounded by radio reporters’ microphones. Screenshot

The story behind the footage of Whitlam’s ‘Kerr’s cur’ speech

The way in which Bob Wilesmith’s footage has come to dominate Australians’ recollection of The Dismissal is a story of prescience, luck and the limitations of the TV news technology of the day.
Gough Whitlam, pictured here in 2008, looks at the original letter that dismissed him from office in 1975. AAP/Alan Porritt

Archive records shed new light on UK role in Whitlam’s dismissal

Sir John Kerr probably made his own decision to dismiss the Whitlam government much earlier than he acknowledged publicly while alive – but he came to this conclusion in discussion with others.
The Whitlam government had a reformist vision whose origins lay in the future prime minister’s own wartime experience. AWM

Gough’s war: making a politician, changing a nation

While serving in the RAAF, future prime minister Gough Whitlam led his first political campaign, agitating among his own squadron in support of the 1944 referendum.
The Franklin River which would prove to be Fraser’s environmental undoing. anna/Flickr

Fraser paved the way for a national environment policy

Malcolm Fraser may be remembered for his failure to intervene in the Franklin Dam campaign, but he otherwise led a government distinguished for its environmental action.
Tom Uren gave a lifetime of service to his country: first in war, then as a campaigner for peace, a government minister and, in his later years, a mentor to many. Australian Information Service 1983/National Archives of Australia

Tom Uren, a ‘Big Man’ in his political vision and in person

Tom Uren was a “Big Man” not only in stature but in his public life. Uren, who has died at the age of 93, was born into a working-class household. Typical of the 1920s and ‘30s, he had a limited formal…
Double J staff in the early days. The station’s been going strong for 40 years. ABC Radio

Happy birthday Triple J: Australian radio’s enfant terrible turns 40

Australia’s public youth radio station, Triple J, turns 40 today. On January 19 1975, Triple J’s AM predecessor, Double J, infamously burst onto Sydney’s airwaves with the track, You Just Like Me Cause…
Politics was very much on display during last week’s memorial service for former prime minister Gough Whitlam. AAP/Brendon Thorne

Booing at a memorial: politeness and political ritual

Last week, I was one of a sea of Australians who rose to remember Gough Whitlam. Fitting its subject, the Whitlam memorial was sweeping. It was as much a grand story of Australia’s evolution since the…
The public response to the eulogies to Gough Whitlam testifies to the power of oratory that draws on and gives fresh life to memory. AAP/Alan Porritt

Memoria in Memoriam: Whitlam’s farewell invokes power of oratory

In a playful rhetorical flourish at the Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday, Indigenous leader Noel Pearson monumentalised Gough Whitlam’s prime ministerial legacy, Monty Python-style: What did the Romans ever…
Noel Pearson’s speech has been hailed as one of the great Australian political speeches. What were its stylistic characteristics? AAP Image/Fairfax Pool, Peter Rae

A closer look at Noel Pearson’s eulogy for Gough Whitlam

Gough Whitlam was a prime minister unsuccessful in three of his five federal election campaigns, including 1975’s extremely divisive contest. Somehow, though, his death has sparked an outpouring of kind…

A Moment With Gough Whitlam

Edward Gough Whitlam has passed on, leaving behind millions of citizens saddened by scores of eloquent obituaries reminding us how, once upon a time, Australian politics produced world-class leaders courageously…

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