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Professor Jenny Hocking launches challenge to release the Palace Letters

What did the Queen know about Sir John Kerr's actions in Dismissing the Whitlam Government and when did the Palace know it?

While there have been a series of astonishing revelations about the Dismissal, there's still one very big missing piece in the story: What was it that transpired between Sir John Kerr and the Palace? The answer is thought to lie in the 'Palace Letters': correspondence between Sir John Kerr and the Queen in the period surrounding the Dismissal. The letters exist, held in the National Archives, and are vital to the historical record.  Professor Jenny Hocking, Whitlam Institute Distinguished Fellow, Monash University academic and Gough Whitlam's biographer has launched an unprecedented action against the National Archives of Australia to release the 'Palace letters' and unlock the truth to this missing piece in our national history.

This is certainly going to be interesting, and the Whitlam Institute will be following the case very closely. More information: https://chuffed.org/project/release-the-palace-letters


New Publication: “The Things Which Must Be Done…" The Honourable Bob Debus AM

In our latest Perspectives Paper, the Hon Bob Debus AM explores how lessons from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and beyond have been neglected or ignored. How our fixation on 'tough on crime' rhetoric contributes to skyrocketing incarceration rates, seeing funding diverted from rehabilitation and diversionary programs and instead into funding prison beds. How a comprehensive response to the issues of incarceration remains entwined with the foundational infrastructure of community support, land rights and self-determination.

It is the "practical things" that Debus focuses on. "Practical things" that we must not equate with minimal reforms, but see as the actions upon which reform is built and meaningful change is realised.

Read it here.


New publication: Professor Anna Yeatman on Gough Whitlam and Rhetoric

Leadership starts with the ability to articulate a vision, but what happens next?

In our latest publication, Professor Yeatman explores the central importance of political rhetoric for creating civil possibility, for articulating and therefore continually creating institutions such as the parliament, the political party, the public sector and the federal system of government. 

What's most striking about Professor Yeatman's paper is not so much what it says about Gough but what it tells us about contemporary Australian politics.  

Read it here.