Introduction

Gough Whitlam was Australia's 21st Prime Minister. He was leader of the Australian Parliamentary Labor Party from 1967-1977. When he became Australian Prime Minister the Australian Labor Party had been in opposition for 23 years. He and his government initiated many reforms that they had campaigned for in the lead-up to the election. They included:

  • The end of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war
  • The end of military conscription
  • Diplomatic recognition of China
  • Independence for Australia's territories of Papua New Guinea
  • Free university education
  • A national health scheme
  • Creation of regional growth centres
  • Returned land to the Gurindji people of the Northern Territory - which lead to the recognition of Aboriginal land rights legislation.