AAP/AP/Pool for Yomiuri
Penny Wong’s first trip as foreign minister appears to have been a success. But there is a long road ahead – and lessons from 50 years ago may be useful.
The 2022 election is the most important national choice to be put before voters since Gough Whitlam’s history-making ‘It’s Time’ campaign.
Gough Whitlam delivering the 1972 election policy speech at the Blacktown Civic Centre in Sydney, 1972.
National Archives of Australia via Wikimedia Commons
Cultural policy has scarcely featured in the 2022 campaign – when Whitlam campaigned in 1972, the arts were centre stage.
Unlike many politicians, Albanese does not appear to harbour a sense of entitlement to the top job - and his journey there has been a long one.
BIANCA DE MARCHI/AAP
Years ago, Kevin Rudd sold himself as a version of Howard-lite, as he sought to reassure voters he wouldn’t be scary. This week, Anthony Albanese invoked a Labor icon to soothe fears of change.
Dana Weeks/Perth Festival
David Milroy’s Panawathi Girl is a rocking, vaudevillian, politically sharp and engaging piece of Australian First Nations’ music theatre.
Activist and actor Bob Maza addresses a protest at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in front of Parliament House on July 30, 1972.
This year, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy is set to celebrate its 50th year of continuous occupation. Its presence is an ongoing call for land rights, sovereignty and self-determination.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen and Lady Stephen at Government House, Canberra, 1982.
National Archives of Australia
While many of the letters are quite candid, their release after so many years is hardly damaging, and the efforts to keep them secret for so long are again shown to be absurd.
On the relatively rare occasions Labor has won victory from opposition, it has done so with a strong reform agenda. So far, Albanese is taking a big – and risky – departure from that.
AMES Australia/Wikimedia Commons
Since the 1970s, Australian immigration policy has changed dramatically, meaning Afghan refugees face far greater hurdles than those who fled Saigon after the Vietnam War.
National Museum of Australia
In 1971, then-Opposition Leader Gough Whitlam made a significant trip to China. Now, with tensions between the two countries showing no signs of abating, it may be time to look to his example.
In the midst of our present crisis, this week’s release of the Palace letters has taken us back to the debate about another crisis, massive at the time and of lasting significance but rather put into perspective…
The letters confirm the worst fears of those who viewed Governor-General John Kerr’s sacking of the Whitlam government as a constitutional coup.
There are many questions regarding The Dismissal that can still be debated. But the queen simply advised the governor-general to follow the constitution, which is as she should have done.
National Archives of Australia
After a long court battle, Australians are finally about to learn more about one of the most pivotal episodes in our political and constitutional history.
The dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975 is our story, and we have a right to know it in full.
Then prime minister Gough Whitlam and director of the Australian National Gallery James Mollison in front of Blue Poles in 1973.
© Pollock-Krasner Foundation. ARS/Copyright Agency
The first director of the National Gallery of Australia has died at 88.
Spontaneous humour is harder for the modern politician, faced with 24-hour media coverage. But every now and then they give it crack, anyway.
The Conversation / AAP Images
Political humour, like all humour, carries an innate risk: if it works, it can be spectacular, and it it tanks, it can be a catastrophe. Australian election campaigns have given us both.
Arthur Caldwell almost defeated Robert Menzies in the 1961 federal election, dominated by debate over the economy and unemployment.
National Archives, National Library of Australia, Wikimedia
In 1960, Harold Holt, the then-treasurer, urged the government to abolish import restrictions, resulting in a minor recession. This nearly swung the election in the ALP’s favour.
The bigger Melbourne gets, the more attractive it becomes.
In the 70s, Whitlam tried to build new, big cities. But this was too costly. Now the most viable solution for Australia’s population woes is to make existing cities bigger.