Gough Whitlam addressed the National Press Club on November 11, 1985, ten years to the day since he was dismissed from office by Sir John Kerr.
The occasion also coincided with the launch of Whitlam’s new book, The Whitlam Government 1972-1975.
Whitlam had returned to Australia, on leave from his position in Paris as Australian Ambassador to UNESCO, the post to which he had been appointed by the Hawke government in 1983.
In his speech, Whitlam canvassed a wide range of issues, including the constitutional crisis of 1975. He damned Kerr for hid handling of what Whitlam said was a “political crisis” that was likely to resolve itself within days, if not hours.
The video of this National Press Club appearance is notable for its portrayal of Whitlam ten years after his government ended and seven years after he left parliament.
Whitlam was 69 years old. His appearance is punctuated by his famous didacticism and wit. His interactions with journalists are notable for their amiability.
- Listen to Whitlam’s speech (26m – transcript below)
- Listen to Whitlam take questions (41m)
- Watch Whitlam (67m – complete)
- Watch Channel 9 News (3m)