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 Gough Whitlam


Gough Whitlam

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When he became Prime Minister in December 1972 Gough Whitlam was the first Labor Prime Minister for 23 years. Within days he had abolished conscription, withdrawn the remaining Australian troops from Viet Nam, negotiated diplomatic relations with China and initiated Federal aid to State and church schools and land rights for Aborigines. His government established the Australia Council, the National Gallery and the Film Commission and sponsored the first national legislation on human rights, heritage and the environment. It abolished tertiary fees, introduced Medibank and reduced tariffs. Gough Whitlam resigned from Parliament in 1978 to become the first National Fellow at the Australian National University. He was a visiting professor at Harvard. An ambassador to Unesco from 1983 to 1986, he has continued to campaign for Australia’s complete adherence to UN, Unesco and ILO conventions. He chaired the National Gallery Council and the Australia-China Council. Abiding Interests, completed by Gough Whitlam after his 80th birthday, was published by UQP in 1997.
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