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People Power and Post War Politics. Prime Ministers – Gough Whitlam. By S. Angelo East Hills Girls Technology High School 2008. Gough Whitlam. Policies Leadership Major Issues Background Elections

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people power and post war politics

People Power and Post War Politics

Prime Ministers – Gough Whitlam


S. Angelo

East Hills Girls Technology High School


gough whitlam
Gough Whitlam



Major Issues



In Office

edward gough whitlam

Edward Gough WHITLAM

Born: 11 July 1916, Kew, Victoria

Education: Telopea Park High School and Canberra Grammar School; University of Sydney (1946)

Employment: RAAF navigator; barrister

Memberships: Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues and World Heritage Committee; World Conservation Union (IUCN); University of Sydney Senate; Academy of Athens; Hanoi Architectural Heritage Foundation

Marriage: 22 April 1942, Vaucluse, Sydney

Children: Anthony (1944); Nicholas (1945); Stephen (1950); Catherine (1954)

Honours: Queen’s Counsel (1962); Socialist International Plate of Honour (1976); Companion of the Order of Australia (1978)

political career

Term as PM: 5 December 1972 – 11 November 1975

Terms as MP: House of Representatives: 17 February 1953 – 31 July 1978 (Werriwa); Deputy Leader of the Opposition (March 1960 – February 1967); Leader of the Opposition (February 1967 – December 1972; November 1975 – December 1977)

Portfolios: Thirteen portfolios: 5–19 December 1972 Foreign Affairs: December 1972 – November 1973 Environment: July 1975

Memberships: Australian Labor Party (NSW branch, 1945–; federal parliamentary Labor Party leader, February 1967 – December 1977); Socialist International; UNESCO Executive Board

After: Australian Ambassador to UNESCO (1983–86); Chair, National Gallery of Australia Council (1987–90); Chair, Australia–China Council (1986–91


Why did Labor win?

  • Liberal PM – William McMahon
  • 23 years of Liberal Government
  • Unpopularity during the Vietnam era
  • Australians wanted a change
it s time campaign 1972

It's Time

It’s time for freedom,It’s time for moving, It’s time to begin,Yes It’s time It’s time Australia,It’s time for moving, It’s time for proving,Yes It’s time

It’s time for all folk,It’s time for moving, It’s time to give,Yes It’s time

It’s time for children,It’s time to show them, Time to look ahead,Yes It’s time

Time for freedom,Time for moving, Time to be clear,Yes It’s time

Time Australia,Time for moving, It’s time for proving,Yes It’s time

Time for better,Come together, It’s time to move,Yes It’s time

Time to stand up,Time to shout it, Time, Time, Time,Yes It’s time

Time to move on,Time to stand up, time to say ‘yes’,Yes It’s time

What are the main points in this source? How do these connect with the reasons that may have led people to vote for the Labor Party in 1972?

source study photographs
Source Study: Photographs

Why do you think Gough Whitlam is dressed this way?

What is the general impression of Whitlam gained from this source?

source study policy speech gough whitlam s policy speech at blacktown civic centre
Source Study: POLICY SPEECHGough Whitlam’s Policy Speech at Blacktown Civic Centre

What do you think are the issues that would have led to many people voting for Labor in 1972? Explain why.

source study 1972 election results
Source Study: 1972 ELECTION RESULTS
  • What was the margin by which the ALP party won the election? Remember to consider that they needed to beat the Coalition!
  • Why are the results for the 1970 Senate shown and not 1972? (Trick question)
  • Who held the majority in the Senate? What would this mean for passing legislation for Whitlam’s policies?
source study political cartoons
Source Study: Political Cartoons

What is the cartoonist Bruce Petty saying?

5 12 72 19 12 72
5/12/72 – 19/12/72

Gough Whitlam - Prime Minister

13 portfolios

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Treasurer
  • Attorney-General
  • Minister for Customs and Excise
  • Minister for Trade and Industry
  • Minister for Shipping and Transport
  • Minister for Education and Science
  • Minister for Civil Aviation
  • Minister for Housing
  • Minister for Works
  • Minister for External Territories
  • Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts
  • 40 major policy changes started as part of reform program
  • Lance Barnard - Deputy Prime Minister - 14 portfolios
  • Minister for Defence
  • Minister for Supply
  • Minister for the Army
  • Minister for the Navy
  • Minister for Air
  • Postmaster-General
  • Minister for Labour and National Service
  • Minister for Social Services
  • Minister for Immigration
  • Minister for the Interior
  • Minister for Primary Industry
  • Minister for Repatriation
  • Minister for Health
  • Minister for National Development

What does this suggest about Whitlam’s leadership style?

How do you think Australians would have viewed him in light of this?

gough trivia

only Prime Minister to grow up in the national capital

dubbed ‘the young brolga’ when he entered parliament, for his height (194cm) and imperious bearing

one of only two Prime Ministers whose lifetime spanned the lives of all 25 Prime Ministers in Australia’s first century (John Gorton was the other)

was on active service in World War II as a RAAF navigator, despite suffering badly from airsickness

only Prime Minister dismissed from office

the Whitlam Institute was developed within the University of Western Sydney in 2000