Assess the contribution of Gough Whitlam to Australia’s post-war development
Had a wide ranging reforming plan
Aimed more to change the social aspect of society than to solve Australia’s economic problems -
In 1975, the Liberal Party blocked the supply bill to the Senate, eventually leading to Whitlam’s dismissal on the 11th November, 1975, by Sir John Kerr. However, even though the Whitlam government lost the next election, many felt that he made a significant contribution to social reform in Australia and to its modernisation.
Argument 1- Foreign Policy
Whitlam aimed for a foreign policy that was independent from Britain and the US. He wanted to develop that expressed Australia’s own interests. -
He distanced Australia from the military driven commitments of the Vietnam War era, overcoming racism and changing our choices of allies, thus enhancing Australia’s national reputation that valued tolerance and fought for justice. -
His policy- Wanted to recognise China as a Communist Party and their policies. He strived to get rid of anti-Communism, and allied with South-East Asian countries. Broke free of the attitudes from the Cold War. Wanted a diplomatic relationship with Asia.
Argument 2- Human Rights
- He wanted to incorporate human rights and equality into Australian law. He supported initiatives, such as Aboriginal rights, workers rights and womens rights. -
Brought in rights for Indigenous people- Royal Commission on Aboriginal Land Rights in Federal Territories. The government had to pay funds to Aborginals needing legal support for land rights claims. Whitlam formally returned land to many people. -
Increased the funding for Aboriginal affairs to $141 million. -
new policy of multiculturalism recognised the range of different cultures represented in Australia. Whitlam ended a number of discriminatory practices relating to immigration and citizenship. -
The abolition of the White Australia Policy...
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