Whitlam Institute
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About the Whitlam Institute

The Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University is a leading national centre & independent think-tank for the people, working to ignite debate, strengthen discussion & enrich policy development in Australia. Our public program’s guided by the Whitlam legacy, with focus areas in parliamentary government, education as a public good, full employment & Australia’s place in the world. We run a wide range of events, inc the Gough Whitlam Oration.


The Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University is a dynamic public policy institute that commemorates and is inspired by the life and work of one of Australia’s most respected Prime Ministers, the Hon Gough Whitlam AC QC.  The Whitlam Institute is guided by the ‘three great aims’ that drove the Whitlam Program of 1972; to promote equality; to involve the people of Australia in the decision-making processes of our land; and to liberate the talents and uplift the horizons of the Australian people.    

Explore the achievements of Gough Whitlam's government


A centre of ideas AND public engagement

Our research and policy work provides an independent think-tank for the people. It works to ignite debate, strengthen discussion and enrich policy development in Australia.

Our program is guided by Gough Whitlam's legacy and the themes of Australian parliamentary democracy, Australia’s place in the world and education as a public good. We run fora and events throughout the year canvassing a broad range of public policy ideas, including the Whitlam Oration.
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culture & heritage at The Female Orphan School

Our home is in the historic Female Orphan School (1813) on the Parramatta Campus of Western Sydney University. Visitors to our exhibition A Changing Australia: the time of Gough Whitlam explore the dynamic, influential and tumultuous years of the Whitlam government.

The Margaret Whitlam Galleries at the Female Orphan School exhibit a changing program of art and social history exhibitions. See latest exhibitions and opening information: 
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civics Education programs

The Whitlam Institute is an educator, not just about the Whitlam Government and Gough Whitlam, but about Australian political and social history, and the power of democracy.

Our school programs inspire young people to think critically and to take action on the things that matter to them. Young people are inspired by the power of big ideas, the importance of personal values and leadership, and the role of government, political and civic engagement.
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Prime Ministerial Collection

The Whitlam Prime Ministerial Collection contains more than 35,000 objects that capture the essence of Gough Whitlam’s personality, his government, his public life, and his times. The collection is constantly growing as we attract new treasures that help us continually better understand Australia’s greatest reforming Prime Minister.

The collection has been largely digitised and is available here. Housed at the Whitlam Institute, the collection is available for research by appointment.
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