Whitlam Institute

The Future of Australian Democracy

Australian Parliamentary Democracy


Eminent speechwriter Graham Freudenberg AM nominated the preservation and enhancement of Australian parliamentary democracy as Gough Whitlam's life-long cause, 'from which all else flowed'. Whitlam was a great parliamentarian, and he deliberately cultivated parliamentary skills because he believed that the parliament’s authority, process and outcomes were central to Australian democracy. 

This public policy work area draws on the historical foundations of our Parliamentary system to facilitate responsible Parliamentary government in the 21st Century.


Australia is the only western democracy without a Charter of Human Rights or an equivalent legal protection. What's holding us back? For this discussion, we're bringing together three panellists - Kristen Hilton, Teela Reid and Gillian Triggs - to discuss the push for a federal Charter of Human Rights.