On April 28, 1978, four months after giving up the ALP leadership and three months before resigning from the Parliament, Whitlam delivered the Inaugural T.J. Ryan Memorial Lecture at the University of Queensland.
The lecture was hosted by the University’s ALP Club. They published the speech in booklet form, a PDF copy of which can be downloaded below.
Whitlam was introduced by Dr. Denis Murphy, an academic at the University of Queensland. Murphy was a Labor historian and biographer. In 1975, he published a biography of T.J. Ryan. Elected as the member for Stafford in the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1983, Murphy died of cancer in 1984, at age 47. He died without ever making a parliamentary speech.
Thomas Joseph Ryan’s life had also been cut short, at the age of 45, in 1921. Elected as the Labor member for Barcoo in the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1909, he became leader of the ALP in 1912 and Premier of Queensland in 1915. He was re-elected in 1918 and entered the Commonwealth Parliament in 1919 as the member for West Sydney, following an unprecedented resolution of a Special Federal Conference of the party requesting him to nominate.