"Gough came in with a view, I don't know how long I'm going to be on the stage, I really have to make a difference as quickly as I can. I don't think people understood the broader economic implications of some of those decisions and I think Hawke and Keating actually learnt from it, and governed more effectively because of what they learnt, I think our Parliament is a very important institution. I would hope that many more people of Gough Whitlam's talent would see it as a role that they should fulfil. I'm not sure there are many Gough Whitlams in the Parliament today." ~Philip Ruddock (is the only serving MP who was in Parliament during the Whitlam years. He praised what he described as very significant changes made by Mr Whitlam in the way Australia accepts its foreign and domestic responsibilities, but he told ABC News 24 they did come at a political cost.)by Clayton Bloom 4:41 PM
"Gough Whitlam was prime minister for only 1071 days - less time than Julia Gillard - but he nevertheless managed to sign off on a number of significant reforms, including universal healthcare, free university education, Indigenous land rights and no-fault divorce." ~by Clayton Bloom 6:01 PM
"The affection and respect for Gough Whitlam was on display when he once turned up to the Sydney Symphony free concert in the Domain during one Sydney Festival. Seeing him and Margaret approaching, hundreds of people stood up and applauded this great Australian. He was held in affection and warmth in the heart of many who benefited from the changes to this country that he brought about. Not least in the Arts." ~Audience comment by J Gross
Source: ABC NEWS, 21 October 2014
"A great Australian whose vision and ambition transformed Australia. May his legacy of equality live on." ~Dalai Lama in Australia on Gough Whitlam (1916-2014)
"I was saddened to hear of the passing of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. As I listen today to the many remarkable stories reflecting on his life and legacy, it is clear that he will be remembered as one of Australia’s most iconic leaders. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Whitlam family and the people of Australia." ~US Ambassador John Berry, FB
"Like than the late John Gorton - a man who identified with all people, had integrity, intelligence, principles and was a gentleman to the end. He will be missed but always remembered for his endeavors and his genuine concerns for all. Without his reforms a lot of today's doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers would never have received a university education - myself included. I'm proud to say I voted for Gough when It Was About Time. Loved forever along with his wonderful wife Margaret they were a great team for Australia!" ~Marian Bovell Smith
Whitlam Memorial Service
5 November 2014
A speech for the ages. Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson describes Whitlam as 'a friend without peer of the original Australians' in a soaring speech at the memorial service for the former Labor Prime Minister. ~Jamika Rizvi, FB
NOEL PEARSON'S TRIBUTE: A Eulogy to Gough Whitlam
We salute this old man for his great love and dedication to his country and to the Australian people. When he breathed he truly was Australia's greatest white elder and friend without peer of the original Australians."Paul Keating said the reward for public life is public progress."
"For one born estranged from the nation's citizenship, into a humble family of a marginal people striving in the teeth of poverty and discrimination, today it is assuredly no longer the case. This because of the equalities of opportunities afforded by the Whitlam program."
"Without this old man the land and human rights of our people would never have seen the light of day."
"This old man was one of those rare people who never suffered discrimination but understood the importance of protection from its malice."
"The Whitlam government is the textbook case of reform trumping management."
"In less than three years an astonishing reform agenda leapt off the policy platform and into legislation and the machinery and programs of government.
The country would change forever. The modern cosmopolitan Australia finally emerged like a technicolour butterfly from its long dormant chrysalis."
"And the Prime Minister with that classical Roman mien, one who would have been as naturally garbed in a toga as a safari suit, stands imperiously with twinkling eyes and that slight self-mocking smile playing around his mouth, in turn infuriating his enemies and delighting his followers."
"There is no need for nostalgia and yearning for what might have been."
"When he breathed he truly was Australia's greatest white elder and friend without peer of the original Australians."
Noel Pearson is an Aboriginal Australian lawyer, land rights activist and founder of the Cape York Institute. This is the full text of the speech he gave at Gough Whitlam's memorial.
Comments: My Favourite Picks
"So much for "on the good die young".
A fine tribute to a man who cared and loved this country - a man who stands head and shoulders above the rest of the leaders this country has had - a man who took the job for all the right reasons.
A man who wanted this country and prosper and flourish through providing opportunity to its people rather than suffocate them with taxes." ~GP
"You have it in a nutshell GP. Whitlam's great legacy was achieved on the back of his "love" for country and his fellow Australians and the drive to see them achieve what he knew they could if given a fair chance. If only our current lot of wannabe's had an ounce of Gough's vision and care we'd be a far better nation. Instead we've grown to be smug, self-centred, entitled and intolerant - a near perfect copy of many of our federal politicians." ~Jon
"Now that is what I call a speech! The words of a man about another man. The recognition of a man after his passing delivered with wonderful words, evocative stories that conjure the images of a time past and the influences and actions that changed and hopefully continue to make Australia great. I have always admired Noel Pearson because his words are always so focused, passionate and powerful. Unlike the words of a typical politician or magician with their hidden meanings, smoke, mirrors and illusions. Thank you Mr Pearson for your inspiration." ~Scott55
"Noel... Your brilliant speech clearly highlighted the chasm between Whitlam and todays crop of so called Leaders.
It seems that our political leadership (on all sides) is bereft of the kind of Leader that Whitlam was.
Our Nation is crying out for true leadership and reform like he gave us.
Could it be that you are the next Whitlam?" ~vote with $$$
"I thought Noel Pearson's speech was one of the most outstanding I've ever heard. The entire service was wonderful. I was eighteen when Gough was elected. I agree with the comment that we mourn not just for Gough but for our youth. Gough meant hope, optimism and that Australia wasn't a backwater. We'll miss him hugely. His impact on Australia will live on forever." ~Lord Lucan
"A great Australian, opening new doors, new futures, tradition justice, fair play, egalitarianism, Australian identity." ~Malcolm Fraseron Gough Whitlam
Mr Fraser said Australia today was a much richer place in the wake of Mr Whitlam.
"He was enormously, I believe, proud of Australia and the role Australia could play in the world," Mr Fraser told ABC radio.
"He had aspirations probably too large for our immediate resources but aspirations that I think touched the hearts and minds of a great many Australians.
"He certainly left an indelible mark on Australian history." (ABC Radio)
"He was a larger than life figure whose leadership profoundly changed the nation for the better. RIP Gough Whitlam. A very sad day." ~Christine Milne
"No star has shone brighter in the Australian political firmament than Gough Whitlam, says former prime minister Bob Hawke.
"The simple truth is Australia is a better country because of the life and work of Gough Whitlam," Mr Hawke said.
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