A reversion to imperial imbalance in the British-Australian relationship began with the Whitlam government’s election and ended with its dismissal.
The continued embargo on documents relating to the dismissal of the Whitlam government point to the lingering imperial power that comes from an incomplete severance of colonial ties.
Gough Whitlam speaks to reporters after being dismissed as prime minister.
National Archives of Australia
The Dismissal soured politicians’ taste for brinkmanship. It revealed the likely consequence of a loss of political legitimacy.
The 1975 crisis surrounding the dismissal of the Whitlam government was brought about in part by the nature of Australia’s constitutional arrangements.
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.
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.
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.
New insights into the dismissal of Gough Whitlam highlight the lingering complexities of any future effort to make Australia a republic.
In comments reported in a new book to mark the 40th anniversary of the dismissal of Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott offer sharply differing views.
Lunch with Gough and Malcolm, as guests of Barry Jones in 2008.
Malcolm Fraser used to argue that he had not changed his political position, but he had in significant ways. This personal evolution was a wonderful quality in the former prime minister.
From boyhood to late in life, Malcolm Fraser always seemed to be slightly removed from those around him.
Malcolm Fraser's record in public life was remarkable, ensuring he'd be remembered not only for his role in The Dismissal, but for how far apart he and the party he once led came to be.
Gough Whitlam speaking to crowds outside parliament house on the day of the dismissal.
National Library of Australia
Former prime minister Gough Whitlam has died at the age of 98. His family said in a short statement that he died this morning…
Professor Gareth Evans believes the political wounds from the actions of Sir John Kerr are yet to heal completely.
Sir John Kerr was the worst of Australia’s governors-general and his legacy was to delay the emergence of an Australian republic…
The final pieces of the historical puzzle around the 1975 Whitlam dismissal are not as sensational as they first seem.
Image courtesy of National Archives of Australia. NAA: A6180, 13/11/75/33
Much hyperbole has been generated by the recent revelations concerning Sir Anthony Mason’s involvement in the 1975 dismissal, but for the most part it shows ignorance of the past. Earlier this week, The…