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Gough Whitlam

October 21, 2014

This morning we woke up to the news that one of the greatest, most respected figures in the political history of this nation, the giant of the Labor Party, Gough Whitlam, passed away at the age of 98.

I had the honour of representing the electorate of Werriwa held by Gough from 1952 and throughout his time in Parliament. During this time he was able to reform and modernise the Labor party. He also successfully navigated many of the fundamental changes in the Australian society in the 1950s and 1960s.

Gough was a visionary with a strong focus on education and infrastructure as a way of investing into the nation’s future. In 1973, he also led his government in one of the most significant human rights measures in abolishing the death penalty.

For many, myself included, Gough Whitlam was truly an inspiration and a primary reason for our interest in Labor politics.

He transformed the Australian society by opening up tertiary education to all, not just the privileged few, providing kids from less privileged upbringings the opportunity to break the cycle and experience a more prosperous future.

On behalf of my family and the community that I represent, I offer my deepest condolences to Gough’s four children; Antony, Nicholas, Stephen and Catherine. I also offer my condolences to the entire nation. Australia has truly lost one of its Greats today.