Gough Whitlam (1916-2014)

21 September, 2014


Your impact on Australia won’t soon be forgotten.

For one thing there’s the delicious scandal of The Dismissal, but there’s also your sterling work Recognising the People’s Republic of China, ending the draft, starting Australia’s anti-Apartheid sanctions, creating the Order of Australia, removing the death penalty from Commonwealth law, getting the last of our troops out of Vietnam and in the first/only Joint Sitting of Parliament, brought about Medicare and Senate representation for the mainland Territories.

But most importantly, there’s the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Land Rights, and the first handback of land to the Gurindji people in the Northern Territory.

I am impressed by how much of what I take for granted as “what the Commonwealth does” can be traced to you.