Naming of Whitlam Library and Public E-Release of Whitlam Speeches and Photographs

Date: 12/03/2002

The Parramatta library at the University of Western Sydney will be officially named the Whitlam Library at a special ceremony on 14 March 2002, 4pm in honour of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

To mark the event over 600 photographs from Mr. Whitlam's private collection and his most recent speeches from 1991 to 2001 will be released on-line in the first installment of the Whitlam Prime Ministerial Collection. In addition a reading room housing many of Mr. Whitlam's books and papers will also be opened on the day at UWS.

The Hon. Gough Whitlam, UWS Chancellor John Phillips, Vice-Chancellor Janice Reid and Mr Nicholas Whitlam, Chairman of the Board of the Whitlam Institute, will be present at the ceremony.

"Mr. Whitlam's private papers are inspirational and an elixir for our times. It doesn't matter which side of politics you are from, the collection of Mr Whitlam's papers is an extraordinary prism from which to view contemporary Australia," Whitlam Institute Foundation Director, Professor Peter Botsman said.

"The on-line collection is unique in that it opens up Mr. Whitlam's many public occasions and statements to a wider audience. The speeches will often bring a smile, as well as admiration for the grandeur, vision and wit of Whitlam. But I think these speeches also bring out a new dimension of the man, in that many will not have realized just how hard Mr. Whitlam works each day even at the age of 85. The number of high academic quality speeches, articles and statements he has produced on such a wide variety of subjects is without peer in Australian public life," Professor Botsman said.

"Another treasure is the photographs which date back from Mr. Whitlam's war time albums and many have never been shown in public before. Again they reveal new dimensions of Mr. Whitlam that will now be available on-line for free and they will be of interest to an audience ranging from high school history and politics students to serious scholars of contemporary Australian public affairs.

"The collection will just get richer and richer as we add new dimensions to the papers and photographs. So we hope that our website will be permanently bookmarked by Australia's media commentators and public affairs analysts."

The Whitlam Institute is part of the University of Western Sydney. The institute focuses on all aspects of urban development and was established last year as a practical way of honouring Gough Whitlam's life-long commitment to improving the lives of people living in fast developing urban regions like the Greater Western Sydney region.

When: 14 March 2002, 4pm
Where: Library Foyer, Building EN, UWS, Parramatta Campus, NSW.

For more media information contact:

Director Whitlam Institute
Professor Peter Botsman
Ph: 02 9685 9174
Mob: 0416 157 182

UWS Media Manager
Mikael Kjaerbye
Ph: 02 9678 7418
Mobile: 0405 356 021