0115 966 7955 Today's Opening Times 10:00 - 20:00 (BST)
Place an Order
Instant price

Struggling with your work?

Get it right the first time & learn smarter today

Place an Order
Banner ad for Viper plagiarism checker

The Contribution Gough Whitlam Made To Australia History Essay

Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional academic writers. You can view samples of our professional work here.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Gough Whitlam was an Australian politician and the 21st Prime Minister of Australia. In 1972 he led the Labor Party into government after a period of 23 years of conservative government in Australia.

Campaigning on the slogan ‘It’s Time’, Whitlam came into office prepared to bring about a number of reforms. This was seen as a necessary progressive approach to improve Australia’s post-war development in terms of foreign policy and social and human rights. Although impeded by the Senate, the Whitlam Government was responsible for a long list of legislative reforms put in place to improve Australian national identity, most of which still stand today.

Whitlam’s progressive reform policies began to be put into place soon after his election. Foreign policies were changed to give Australia individuality but at the same time, give it strong economic relations, and promote multiculturalism.

Gough Whitlam strived to get rid of anti-communism, and wanted to create a diplomatic relationship with Asia. This was made possible when, in 1972, Whitlam officially ended conscription and withdrew troops from Vietnam. This established diplomatic relations with communist countries such as North Korea and North Vietnam. His government was the first western government to recognise communist China. This enabled new connections and trades with other nations other than the US and UK. This link now holds an important part of the economy and gives Australia access to the resource industry and relations to one of the world’s largest economies.

Whitlam separation from military driven commitments and a change in the choice of allies, illustrated Australia as a nation overcoming racism, thus enhancing Australia’s national reputation that valued tolerance and it’s strong beliefs on multiculturalism.

This is evident in the primarily sourced article from 1973 (Source A). This shows exactly what Gough wanted to achieve in his foreign policy. By going to China, especially after a long period of time due to the 1949 revolution, Whitlam broadened Australia’s bonds with other countries and created stronger links with China. In the article one may notice that the Whitlam government attempted to increase Australia’s relationship with new countries stating that “with no nation is our aspiration symbolized more than it is with China”. Also after the abolishment of the ‘White Australia Policy’, it is evident that the government attempted to increase multiculturalism with a hope of laying a “foundation for increased immigration of Chinese citizens…”.

Evidently, it is indisputable that Whitlam’s progressive reforms in post war development, did not only positively reform Australia’s foreign policy of that era, but rather grew to result in the positive outcome of the international relations and Australian identity in place today.

Another major legacy of the Whitlam Government was that it brought about major changes in the social character of Australia. It challenged the idea of what an Australian is and what Australia represented. The post-war period was a time of great social reform, with changing opinions on issues such as women’s liberation, racism, religion, war, morality, equality and social and environmental responsibility.

Women finally saw equal rights in the workplace. Through the Anti-Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), Whitlam implemented equal pay for women therefore more women thought of working and pursuing their ambitions.

Aboriginals had always been left out, no voting rights, no land rights and discrimination throughout Australia. Whitlam brought in rights for the Indigenous people through the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Land Right. The government had to pay funds to Aborginals needing legal support for land rights claims and as a result, formally returned land to many people. In the policy speech in 1972 Whitlam said that “All of us as Australians are diminished while the Aborigines are denied their rightful place in this nation”.

Additional to this, new policy of multiculturalism recognised the range of different cultures represented in Australia. Whitlam ended a number of discriminatory practices relating to immigration and citizenship. The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), made racial discrimination illegal in Australia. Through this Whitlam aimed to provide equal opportunities in employment, buying or renting property, accessing public. This legislation along with other policies helped create a stronger sense of Australia’s identity of a fair go. The formation of the current Australian identity traces back to Whitlam’s government and the introduction of multiculturalism policy. This led to the issue of the anthem, provoking debate for a fresh and passionate debate about the need for a truly Australian anthem. Source B shows status of the identity of Australia and the need to have a more appropriate anthem to represent its multicultured nation. It is evident in this source that choosing to change the national anthem from ‘God save the Queen’, British orientated, to ‘Advance Australia Fair’ was fundamentally correct, prompting Gough Whitlam to announce that it would become the national anthem. Given that Australia is an independent country, majority of the voters agreed and were happy with this change.

Further to the social reforms the Whitlam Government implemented, education was one of the main concerns held by the government. Whitlam funded government and non- government schools on a needs basis to provide equal and more education and resources to students. He also abolished tertiary education fees and established the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme to attract more students to further their education after school.

The Whitlam Government also introduced the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Cth), which established a national health scheme called ‘Medibank’ (now Medicare). It declined private medicine and commenced to pay 85% of medical and hospital fees. Medibank provided inexpensive treatment by hospitals and doctors to all permanent citizens of Australia.

Using the slogan “It’s Time”, Gough Whitlam created an environment to implement large social reforms, which still stand today. It is this reason all Australians remember the legacy of Gough Whitlam.

Although the Whitlam Government contributed immensely to Australia, the economy was failing under the it’s control.

The economy during Whitlam’s prime minister ship was in turmoil and the Whitlam government’s policies were not functioning well. Most of the problems were due mainly to external issues, primarily the decline in the value of Australia’s farm produce as well as the increase in the price of oil from around the world. The government’s policies however did not do much to help and the mismanagement of the economy led to widespread unemployment and very high inflation. All this made him very unpopular in the public eye.

Whitlam’s unpopularity was also evident amongst members of the government through their lack of support and reflected by the hostile opposition in Parliament, particularly in the Senate. The Senate created many barriers that obstructed the Whitlam Government from instituting new ideas. The Whitlam government could not control the Senate anymore, which also made it impossible for them to pass the “budget” by the Senate. This meant the government had no operating resources to run the country with, ultimately resulting in a problem with balance of payments. Whitlam could not handle the economy properly and had to borrow money from the banks to keep the government running. This led to involvement of a series of controversies and scandals, damaging its credibility with the electorate. On November 11 1975, John Kerr, Governor General of Australia, dismissed the Whitlam government and installed the Fraser as Prime Minister.

During its three years in power, the Whitlam government was responsible for large scale reform in improving post war development.

DesGough Whitlam had been an effective Prime Minister. This can be proven by a close examination of a certain criteria that can evaluate the efficiency of the Whitlam government. One’s ability to promote the nation on an International stage, ability to deliver efficient social and economical reforms, ability to inspire the nation and the ability to deliver election promises are often used to evaluate their efficiency as Prime Minister.

Among the most important aspect of evaluating the effectiveness of a government, especially in Australia, is the ability to promote the nation on an International stage. Gough Whitlam had been able to do this well. From his visits overseas and his personal discussions with the world’s leaders had convinced him that Australia had to become “a nation that had an ide

In general, Gough Whitlam is thereby an effective Prime Minister. From the evaluation of one’s ability to promote Australia on an International stage, deliver efficient social and economical reforms, inspire the nation and deliver election promises, proves the Whitlam government as very efficient and useful to the Australian nation then and the nation now.

The ability to deliver efficient social and economical reforms is quite a significant issue as to how a Prime Minister performs. Whitlam has done extremely well in this area, which is why he is known as the “greatest reformer in Australian history.” He introduced a huge amount of social and economical reforms such as the establishment of the Australian Schools Commission, which provided large financial grants schools. Also, Medibank was sig

Campaigning on the slogan ‘It’s Time’, Whitlam came into office prepared to bring about a number of reforms. This was seen as a necessary progressive approach to improve Australia’s post-war development in terms of foreign policy and social and human rights. Although impeded by the Senate, the Whitlam Government was responsible for a long list of legislative reforms put in place to improve Australian national identity, most of which still stand today.

CONCLUSION

OVERVIEW OF LEGACY

responsible for a long list of legislative reforms, most of which still stand today. It replaced Australia’s adversarial divorce laws with a new, no-fault system, acted to improve the position of the Aboriginal minority, slashed tariff barriers, ended both conscription and the Australian involvement in the Vietnam War, introduced a universal national health insurance scheme (Medibank, later renamed Medicare), sponsored free university education, introduced needs-based federal funding for private schools, and established diplomatic and trade relations with the PeopleHYPERLINK “http://www.fact-index.com/p/pe/people_s_republic_of_china.html”‘HYPERLINK “http://www.fact-index.com/p/pe/people_s_republic_of_china.html”s Republic of China.

Despite its many concrete achievements, its failings were substantial. The economy declined, with balance of payments problems, high unemployment and (by Australian standards) very high inflation. This was primarily due to external factors, in particular higher world oil prices and falling prices for Australian farm produce, but the Whitlam government’s economic policies were far from convincing in the eyes of the voting public and the contemporary media and almost certainly were not helpful.

he legacy of this government was that it instigated major changes in the social and cultural fabric of Australia but it also challenged the philosophy of what an Australian is and what Australia represented. The late 1960s and early 1970s were times of great change. Perspectives and acceptances about imperialism, women’s liberation, racism, ideology, religion, war, morality, social responsibility and the natural environment were changing for a great many people throughout the world. Some issues were long term political debates that had been presented previously but not received enough support for legislative change.

Source A:

This source is article written in 1973. It is derived from the book: Australia through Time- 126 years of Australian History

Source B:

This source is article written in 1974. It is derived from the book: Australia through Time- 126 years of Australian History


To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:


More from UK Essays