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Statement on the passing of Bob Hawke

The Whitlam Institute is deeply saddened by the death of Bob Hawke, who was, in the words of Gough Whitlam in 2009, “one of the Labor Party’s and the Labor movement’s greatest leaders.”

On the occasion of Bob Hawke’s 80th birthday Gough wrote, “Bob’s achievements over his 80 years have been legion. It is especially worth noting that Bob was granted this country’s highest civic honour[1] before he even entered the National Parliament.”

Image credit - ABC Archives

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Human Rights + Technology: A Community Consultation with the Australian Human Rights Commission

On Wednesday 20 March 2019, the Whitlam Institute hosted a Community Consultation on Human Rights and Technology, as part of a major review by the Australian Human Rights Commission. Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow and Whitlam Institute Director Leanne Smith discussed the implications of emerging technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Human Rights, and the large audience shared their thoughts and questions. Watch the video here.

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Spy: Espionage in Australia Exhibition Opening

On Friday 8 March 2019, the Spy: Espionage in Australia opened to a sold-out crowd at the Whitlam Institute.

This exhibition, on tour from the National Archives of Australia, reveals the personal experiences of secret agents and the curious history of espionage and counter-espionage in Australia, from Federation through to the present day.

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ExhibitionsJenna Beck
Legacy of a Leader: Whitlam's Reforms and Modern Australia

On 6 March 2019, Director Leanne Smith was the guest of Albury City Council, addressing a crowd of Albury locals at the LibraryMuseum on the legacy of the Whitlam Government and Gough’s special relationship with the region. The visit coincides with the showing of Whitlam Institute exhibition The Way of the Reformer: Gough Whitlam in His Century at the Albury Library Museum, on display until 24 March 2019

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage: Preservation, pressures and workable policy

Professor Hilary Du Cros, E. G. Whitlam Research Fellow
A lunchtime symposium delivered at the Whitlam Institute on Tuesday 19 February 2019.

Professor du Cros research presentation included a discussion of the urgent need for up-to-date national mapping of sites of historical and cultural significance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Media Release: New research calls for national database of Indigenous cultural heritage sites in Australia

New research from the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University calls for a national database of places of Indigenous historical and cultural significance following revelations that national protection for significant places for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which were introduced during the Whitlam era, have been severely diminished under subsequent governments.

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The Whitlam Legacy – Reflections on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and International Law

r Adam Hughes Henry, E. G. Whitlam Research Fellow
A lunchtime seminar hosted by the Whitlam Institute on Wednesday, 21 November 2018.

Dr Adam Hughes Henry presented a seminar on his research exploring some of the philosophical foundations of the Whitlam approach to human rights and international law. Dr Hughes Henry’s research was responded to by Professor Frank Bongiorno, Emeritus Professor James Cotton, Associate Professor Roderic Pitty and Dr David Lee. A stimulating discussion was moderated by Whitlam Institute Director Leanne Smith.

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Whitlam Oration: The Information That Democracy Needs

In his Oration, Bret Walker SC spoke to “the need to require our elected representatives and especially their executive delegates in the Ministry and Cabinet, to allow us sufficient information to check them, test them, and remind them of their representative capacity…this irreducible need for information about government is not to be seen through an individualist prism: it is not a personal right, but rather an imperative of a representative, parliamentary democracy.”

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Neoliberal Government and its Implications for Public Office and the Welfare State

While there is a great deal to consider in each of these papers the underlying message is the need not simply to be diligent in affirming and preserving the proven strengths of our key democratic institutions but to be looking at this time to institutional development that aligns with our expectations of an open, fair and genuinely democratic society.

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Managing Ourselves in a Chinese World: Australian Foreign Policy in an Age of Disruption

Offering a unique perspective as a diplomat, academic and Australia's first Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Dr FitzGerald called on Australia to be confident in pursuing a foreign policy that is independent and also which has a keen eye to our own national interests, and that is principled and consistent both domestically and abroad. 

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