The Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University is a dynamic hub of ideas, public policy, culture, history & civic engagement. Our home is the beautiful, heritage-listed Female Orphan School, where we host a range of exhibitions and events, as we seek to commemorate & continue the work of one of Australia’s most respected Prime Ministers, the Hon Gough Whitlam.
Open Wednesday - Friday from 10 am - 4 pm and the first Saturday of the month from 11 am - 4 pm
Often cloaked in myth, the stories of spies are sometimes stranger than fiction. Spy: Espionage in 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.
The Whitlam Institute presents the first public display of a unique collection of artworks gifted to Gough and Margaret Whitlam in 1979, in recognition of their support for the Arts. Artworks by John Olsen, Brett Whiteley, Lloyd Rees, John Coburn, Arthur Boyd, and others are featured in a superb exhibition that explores how Gough Whitlam viewed access to the arts as a fundamental human right and a precondition to a healthy democracy.
A Changing Australia: The Time of Gough Whitlam
In its first year, the Whitlam Government passed 203 bills – more legislation than any other federal government had ever enacted in a single year. This exhibition explores how Gough Whitlam and his government not only reformed Australia's laws and institutions, but changed the way Australia sees itself.
PAST EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS
Attention all spy kids! You're invited to the Whitlam Institute's family fun day featuring our exhibition SPY: Espionage in Australia. This adventure includes a Spy family activity trail and special spy training activities for kids aged 5-12. Learn to experiment with invisible ink and crack the code with cipher wheels, or dress up as a spy to take a secret selfie #spy
We’re open 11am – 4pm on Saturday, 4 May and there's something for everyone throughout the day, but registrations are essential for special spy training sessions.
The Whitlam Institute is delighted to host a Melbourne screening of The Scribe, a superb documentary on the ‘Donald Bradman’ of speech writing – Graham Freudenberg. Featuring a post-screening Q&A with director and producer Ruth Cullen, long-serving politician the Hon. Barry Jones AO, speechwriter to Kevin Rudd James Button, Whitlam historian Professor Jenny Hocking and Whitlam Institute Director Leanne Smith, this compelling event is a must-see for all political enthusiasts.
The Whitlam Institute will host a community consultation on Human Rights and Technology as part of a major review by the Australian Human Rights Commission. You're invited to share your thoughts at Western Sydney's Human Rights and Technology consultation.
Featuring Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow and Whitlam Institute Director Leanne Smith, this event is a must for anyone who is interested in this world-changing issue.
Join us as we open Spy: Espionage in Australia.
The Whitlam Institute is delighted to bring together a remarkable group of experts, including NATO's Special Representative Ms. Clare Hutchinson, for an ‘In Conversation’ event about Women, Peace and Security, to consider how the landscape has evolved over the last two decades, how Australia is faring in the global context, and what’s next for WPS.
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the central theme for the Behind the Lines 2018 political cartoon exhibition is 'Curiouser and Curiouser', reflecting a strange and unsettling year in politics.
Please join us for a very special Saturday event at the Whitlam Institute, featuring acclaimed pianist Kevin Hunt. With a program that will span Bach, Cole Porter and Christmas carols, our Christmas piano recital is free but registration is essential.
The Whitlam Institute is delighted to host a screening of The Scribe, a superb documentary on the ‘Donald Bradman’ of speech writing – Graham Freudenberg. Featuring a post-screening Q&A with director and producer Ruth Cullen, the Hon. John Faulkner and Michael Cooney, this compelling film is a must-see for all political enthusiasts.
The Whitlam Institute is delighted to host the first Parramatta screening of Border Politics and Q&A with director and producer Judy Rymer, Julian Burnside AO QC and former refugee Hayat Akbari. This powerful documentary follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside QC as he travels the globe examining the treatment of refugees in today’s world.
Over the years, countless artists from every discipline have drawn on artist Kevin Oxley’s vision while making use of facilities and classes offered in the atmospheric setting of the Hawkesbury Community Arts Workshop. Their works, as well as those of Oxley, are brought together to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Hawkesbury Workshop.
Join our archivist for a behind-the-scenes look at the treasures and unexpected delights in the Whitlam Prime Ministerial Collection.
The Whitlam Institute is pleased to announce an exciting upcoming event Run For Your Life: Former NSW Premier and Foreign Minister Bob Carr in conversation with Whitlam Institute Chair the Hon. John Faulkner.
As part of the memoir-launch, Carr and Faulkner will offer audiences personal insight into the Whitlam legacy and in particular the impact Gough Whitlam had on one of Labor’s most long-serving and formidable leaders.
The Whitlam Institute is delighted to open its newest art exhibition with this special event:
Artist Anna Glynn, curator Bronwyn Coulston and environmental scientist and curator Peter Dalmazzo will join a stimulating panel discussion on art, history, colonisation, biology and identity.
Promiscuous Provenance encourages a re-examination of our relationship with our colonial past. Using a range of different media, Anna Glynn populates her own antipodean world with strange hybrid manifestations to invoke curiosity and wonder.
Tim Soutphommasane will deliver his final speech as Race Discrimination Commissioner at the Whitlam Institute, looking back at the nation-building significance of the Racial Discrimination Act (1975), the importance of a bipartisan approach to race, and reflect on contemporary debates relating to race and identity. Tim’s speech will be followed by a bipartisan panel discussion featuring the Hon. Mark Dreyfus MP and Dr John Hewson AM. Panellists will provide frank and robust responses to the speech, and engage in an audience Q&A. We look forward to respectful debate and open-minded contributions.
You’re invited to the Whitlam Institute for a day of lectures, discussions, workshops, and a peek into the treasures of the Prime Ministerial Collection.
Saturday 30 June marks two hundred years since the arrival of the first girls to the historic Female Orphan School in Parramatta. Once dilapidated and at risk of demolition by neglect, the oldest three-storey building in Australia is now a stunning heritage building, and home to the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University.
The Whitlam Institute is delighted to announce that this year’s Oration is being delivered by one of Australia’s most eminent lawyers, Bret Walker SC. Bret is not only highly respected for his fierce intellect, he is also known for pursuing projects of conviction. A Past President of the NSW Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia, he was also Australia’s first Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.
Blaze: Working Women, Public Leaders explores the stories of a selection of NSW women who were leaders and trailblazers in public sector work, alongside the perspectives of women working in key public sphere roles today.
Melding past and present, this unique exhibition asks provocative questions about women, the public sphere and leadership. Blaze: Working Women, Public Leaders is a new exhibition curated and produced by State Archives and Records NSW, presented at the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University from 26 April to 27 July 2018.
To celebrate the arrival of touring exhibition The Way of the Reformer | Gough Whitlam in his Century in Broken Hill, the Hon. John Faulkner, Chair of the Whitlam Institute, will speak at Trades Hall about the legacy of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and the government he led.
The Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University together host an event to explore activist social work in Australia from the 1970s onwards, its origins and its legacy.
A panel discussion will look at social work activism in the Whitlam era and beyond, together with a recent graduate’s perspective on the contemporary context.
Jointly hosted by the Challenging Racism Project, the Whitlam Institute and the Asia Society, this symposium is not to be missed.
With an official welcome from WSU Deputy Chancellor Liz Dibbs and opening remarks by Tim Soutphommasane (Race Discrimination Commissioner) and Philipp Ivanov (CEO of Asia Society Australia), the event will provide a forum to discuss contemporary challenges facing the Chinese Australian community.
What has happened to the project of Indigenous self-determination initiated by the Whitlam Government? Join us for a one-day symposium to reflect on the project of Indigenous self-determination and its various dimensions, presented by the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University and Nura Gili, UNSW Sydney.
It’s the first year that the What Matters? writing competition is 100% online, and based on some feedback, we will be extending the period that we accept entries for a short period. You can now submit an entry to What Matters? until Wednesday 16 May 2018. Please be assured that any entries that have already been submitted are secure. If you need any assistance with this form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
What Matters? is our annual writing competition asking students in grades 5-12 to tell us what matters to them. Find out more about competition details, prizes and enter here.
65 original artworks by people serving custodial sentences in Australia and around the world, accompanied by an ambient soundscape of poems written by people in prison and recited by professional actors.
An exhibition featuring a social services program of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe
Simon Tedeschi is one of Australia’s most renowned and sought-after classical pianists, and his Whitlam Institute recital will include Chopin, Debussy, Gershwin, and a little bit of Christmas.
This event will showcase one of Sydney’s colonial architectural treasures, the Female Orphan School, as well as a concert grand piano that was a gift to the university two decades ago by the Diane Bawden Memorial Foundation, in her loving memory.
“If everyone thinks outside the box, what happens to the box?”