Gough Whitlam

Topics: Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser Pages: 4 (1522 words) Published: August 29, 2013
Gough Whitlam came into office toward the end of 1972. He was the first Labor Prime Minister in 23 years, and he arrived in the position keen to bring about a number of reforms and a new, progressive approach to the Australian national identity. Whitlam had already reformed the Labor Party's policy platform prior to coming to power, and as Prime Minister he established new Commonwealth bodies to deal with Aboriginal and Environmental issues, introduced free university education, and ended conscription. His term in office was cut short in November 1975 when he became the only Prime Minister to be removed from office by the Governor-General. Edward Gough Whitlam (commonly known by his middle name) was born in Melbourne in 1916. He graduated in Law from the University of Sydney, and served as a navigator in the Air Force during the Second World War. Whitlam entered federal parliament in 1952 by winning the seat of Werriwa in a by-election. He kept this seat for 23 years, through eleven elections. He became Leader of the Opposition in 1967, and played a central role in getting the ALP re-elected to power, by modernising the policies of the party so as to appeal to the new generation of well-educated Baby Boomer voters (those born in the post World War II 'Baby Boom', who were young adults in the 1960s). Whitlam also won the ALP widespread support for his policy of government funding for non-government schools and for reaching out to Asia as Opposition Leader. Campaigning on the slogan and theme 'It's Time', Whitlam became Prime Minister in December 1972. His progressive reform policies began to be put into place soon after his election. In 1972 Whitlam officially ended conscription, and during 1973 he was responsible for setting up government bodies such as the Law Reform Commission, the Social Welfare Commission, the Aboriginal Land Rights Commission, as well as an agency for Women's Affairs. By 1975 he had set up the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service...
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