Australian Studies Programme  

School of English and American Studies - Eötvös Loránd University   

1088 Budapest, Rákóczi út 5. office 406,  phone: (36-1) 485 52 00 extension 4399, email: ausprog[at]     




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This is the Notice Board of the Australian Studies Programme




In our Australian classes we often tell you about important Australian values, many of which were realised by the Labour government (1972-1975) lead by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. It was during this period that Australia dismantled the White Australia Policy and officially adopted multiculturalism.  The New York Times gives this summary of his/their achievements:
"Mr. Whitlam, who championed indigenous rights and equality for women, led the Australian Labor Party to victory in the 1972 election after 23 years in opposition. Once in power, his administration moved quickly to abolish capital punishment, university fees and military conscription. It also set aside funds for specialized hospitals and created a national health system, which still exists in altered form."



(the 1972 campaign poster)                                   (in 1975)


Mr. Whitlam was an important and influential figure of Australian politics and public life even after his official political career. He died on 21 October, 2014 at the age of 98, and the obituaries of this great man offer an interesting insight into his life and actions as well as a few Australian social issues.

Do read them if you are interested:

This NYT article is a good summary written for readers outside Australia, i.e., it does not contain hints that only Australians would understand.

The next ones are from the Sydney Morning Herald:
A good overview:

Prime ministers following Whitlam remember here. It is particularly interesting how one-time rival  Malcolm Fraser and Whitlam grew to be friends. 


This one is by Australian writer, Tom Keneally,  author of Schindler's list (originally: Shindler's Ark), and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith: 



The political struggle that led to the affirmation of native title enshrined in the Mabo and Wik decisions is the subject of this momentous photograph. Appropriately, it was taken by Mervyn Bishop, Australia's first Aboriginal press photographer and a noted recorder of customary and contemporary life in Aboriginal communities. Bishop caught the human as well as the historical significance of the transferral of soil from the hand of a white prime minister, the reformist Gough Whitlam, to that of a Gurindji elder, Vincent Lingiari. Both men seem awed, even humbled, by the power of their own gesture, enacted against a brilliant blue Australian sky. Land at the Vestey-operated Wave Hill Station was handed back to its traditional owners, the Gurindji people, in August 1975, after decades of servitude and a nine-year walkout. The centrality of the concept of land, or more properly of place, in Aboriginal culture and consciousness is here given expression in a modern medium.

from The Art Gallery of NSW Handbook, 1999.


These are links to accounts of PM Whitlam's memorial service in Sydney Town Hall. The speeches by actress Cate Blanchett and lawyer/academic/indigenous activist Noel Pearson are particularly noteworthy:

Whitlam memorial account:

Noel Pearson:  text



 Cate Blanchett:







          The Great Barrier Reef                                  

                Dried out lake

Litchfield Waterfall






























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