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.
Promiscuous Provenance encourages a re-examination of our relationship with our colonial past. Artist Anna Glynn is drawn to the work of the early colonial artists, whose depictions of Australian flora and fauna did not represent the landscape as it really was but instead drew on European forms and animals. This is both beguiling and symbolic; is our identity as Australians built on a strange hybrid history, a ‘Promiscuous Provenance’? Using a range of different media, Anna Glynn populates her own antipodean world with strange hybrid manifestations to invoke curiosity and wonder.
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
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.
“In writing this memoir I found—without planning it—that the figure of Edward Gough Whitlam kept walking on stage. As orator and debater and advocate and educator the Whitlam example doesn’t fade. It grows stronger.”
– Bob Carr, launching his new memoir Run For Your Life.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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?”
Fixed four year terms – are they as logical and straightforward as they seem? What are the real or perceived obstacles, and how can they be overcome?
An intriguing exploration of shadow matters, reflecting memory, time and space, Zu invites viewers to experience all aspects of the concept of “missing”: physical, psychological and metaphorical.
In these challenging global times, the SDGs offer us a roadmap for what it might take to achieve a sustainable future for us all. They represent in the truest sense, an opportunity to think globally and act locally for the future of humanity and the planet.
A thought-provoking presentation from Australian lawyer Paul White as he draws on his extensive experience in humanitarian crises around the world and asks, “Can civilians be better protected in conflict?”
Without Consent is much more than an exhibition. It is a significant contribution to the narrative of our national history, giving voice to an estimated 250,000 Australians affected by forced adoption policies and practices, largely occurring between 1950 and 1975.
Join us as Bishop Vincent Long, Fourth Bishop of Parramatta launches Race Mathew's new book, Of Labour and Liberty at the Whitlam Institute, in partnership with Monash University Publishing.
From literally opposite sides of the world, join award-winning playwrights Stephen Orlov of Montreal and Samah Sabawi of Melbourne as they discuss the complexities, obstacles and creative process in editing this groundbreaking collection.
Through the lens of this one department store, the exhibition explores the role of women in the 1950s, and the evolution of fashion from the early 20th century.
Join artist Robert McFarlane in conversation with Bronwyn Coulston, Curator of Still Point as we open our exhibition program for 2017.
Still Point allows us insight into not just Australia over the past 50 years, but the world, as we view individuals and moments captured by one of Australia's best documentary photographers.
Indigenous Australians make up 27% of the national prison population – a statistic that has almost doubled from 14% at the time of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Almost 79% of Indigenous Australians in custody have been in prison before.