Whitlam fought his last election campaign as leader of the ALP in 1977.
The federal election was held on December 10. Whitlam and the ALP were defeated by a large margin only slightly less than the landslide defeat of 1975. Whitlam announced his resignation as leader of the ALP on election night.
This is probably the only recording made of Whitlam’s appearance at an ALP election rally at the Moorabbin Town Hall, in the electorate of Hotham, in Melbourne, on November 28, 1977.
The event was introduced by Clyde Holding, who became the member for Melbourne Ports at the election, after serving ten years as leader of the state ALP. The candidate for Hotham, Tony Ross, also spoke, as did the new state Opposition Leader, Frank Wilkes.
Whitlam was introduced by Gareth Evans, who was about to be elected to the Senate. He introduced Whitlam as “manifestly and obviously a human being”. Whitlam responded by beginning his speech with the words: “Fellow human beings.”
The recording was made with a hand-held portable recorder but is generally clear.
- Listen to the introductions to Whitlam (33m)
- Listen to Whitlam (43m)