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Gough Whitlam

Gough Whitlam

About Gough Whitlam

Edward Gough Whitlam, a former Australian politician was born on 11 July 1916 in Kew. He was the eldest son of Martha and Fred Whitlam. Gough Whitlam, who led the Labor party from 1967 to 1977, was sworn in as the 21st Prime Minister of Australia on 5 December 1972. He held office until the Governor-General dismissed his government on 11th November 1975.

Early life and Education

Gough Whitlam’s schooling was at Telopea Park High School and Canberra Grammar School. He graduated in arts and law from University of Sydney. In 1941 he was selected to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Though he joined Australian Labor Party in 1945, he had to wait until 1952 to enter the federal parliament after his victory in the by-election winning the seat of Werriwa. He challenged Arthur Calwell and became Leader of the Opposition in 1967. He also served as the deputy leader of the federal parliamentary ALP. Gough Whitlam was a member of Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues and World Heritage Committee, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), University of Sydney Senate, Academy of Athens and Hanoi Architectural Heritage Foundation.

Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister

Under his leadership Labor party came to power after a long wait of more than two decades. He strengthened Australia through a wide variety of reform programs. His government was the first to get dismissed abruptly by the Governor-General.

Personal Life

Gough Whitlam married Margaret Whitlam on 22 April 1942. The couple had four children Antony, Nicholas, Stephen and Catherine. Margaret Whitlam, being an outspoken public speaker, broadcaster and columnist played a significant role in Gough Whitlam’s political as well as personal life.


The honours bestowed upon him are Queen’s Counsel (1962), Socialist International Plate of Honour (1976) and Companion of the Order of Australia (1978). He wrote two books- The Truth of the Matter and Abiding Interests. The second one discusses the crisis that led to the dismissal of his government. Several works came out about him and his books.

21st Prime Minister of Australia
In office 5 December 1972– 11 November 1975
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Sir Paul Hasluck, Sir John Kerr
Deputy Lance Barnard, Jim Cairns, Frank Crean
Preceded by William McMahon
Succeeded by Malcolm Fraser
Leader of the Opposition
In office 11 November 1975– 22 December 1977
Deputy Frank Crean, Tom Uren
Preceded by Malcolm Fraser
Succeeded by Bill Hayden
In office 9 February 1967– 5 December 1972
Deputy Lance Barnard
Preceded by Arthur Calwell
Succeeded by William McMahon
Leader of the Labor Party
In office 9 February 1967– 22 December 1977
Deputy Lance Barnard, Jim Cairns, Frank Crean, Tom Uren
Preceded by Arthur Calwell
Succeeded by Bill Hayden
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office 5 December 1972– 6 November 1973
Preceded by Nigel Bowen
Succeeded by Don Willesee
Member of the Australian Parliament for Werriwa
In office 29 November 1952– 31 July 1978
Preceded by Bert Lazzarini
Succeeded by John Kerin
Military service
Allegiance Commonwealth of Australia
Service/branch Royal Australian Air Force
Years of service 1941–1945
Rank Flight Lieutenant
Unit No. 13 Squadron RAAF
Battles/wars World War II
Personal details
Born Edward Gough Whitlam 11 July 1916 (age 97) Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Margaret Whitlam
Children Tony, Nicholas, Stephen, Catherine
Residence Elizabeth Bay, NSW
Alma mater University of Sydney
Profession Barrister

Types Of Visas

Immigration Info

Australian History

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