Radio National re-broadcast the 2012 Whitlam Oration last night on Radio National’s Big Ideas. It’s a brilliant lecture with immense wisdom for today’s (most inadequate) political leaders.
The 2012 Whitlam Institute
Gough Whitlam Oration
Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH
“Politics, Independence and the National Interest: the legacy of power and how to achieve a peaceful Western Pacific” Sydney, 6 June 2012
I am honoured to be asked to make this speech. During the turbulent years of the 1970’s, few people would have believed that Malcolm Fraser would be delivering a Gough Whitlam Oration. Politics is a hard business. The opposition of one party to another can become toxic. We have had this demonstrated to us all too often in recent years. But it does not always have to be this way.
By any standards Gough Whitlam is a formidable, political warrior. He has inspired an undying loyalty amongst his supporters. He is an historic figure who has made a significant impact on the life of Australia. He had grand ideas, many of which left their mark on Australia. A number of which were embraced by the following government.
Others have survived despite the opposition from the other side of politics. He was the first Australian Prime Minister to recognise China. As Australian Prime Minister he had the confidence and knowledge to recognise the distinct national interests of our country. He established ground breaking enquiries into Land Rights for Aboriginal Australians and also over a number of environmental issues, where reports
were later implemented by my government.