It's time to honour Gough Whitlam

Date: 08/04/2002

Former Australian Prime Minister, The Honorable Gough Whitlam, AC QC, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Sydney.

Mr Whitlam was awarded a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa at a recent UWS graduation ceremony. He also delivered the occasional address.

As one of Australia's greatest political icons, Mr Whitlam has devoted his career to improving the lives of the 1.7 million people who live in one of Australia's fastest growing regions - western Sydney.

The federal member for Werriwa from 1952-1978, Mr Whitlam championed the development of essential social services for the west such as health, education and public transport infrastructure.

As Prime Minister from 1972-1975, Mr Whitlam implemented some of this country's most important social reforms and was instrumental in ensuring that higher education was the right of all Australians and not a privilege.

He was also one of the strongest advocates for the development of a University in Sydney's west and remains a vital contributor to UWS's continued growth.

UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, said it was a pleasure to bestow the University's highest honour upon such a remarkable Australian.

"Mr Whitlam has played an important role in helping shape our great nation. His political reputation, his love of Australia and its people, the depth of his knowledge, and his presence still resonate today as benchmarks for Australian political leaders," said Professor Reid.

"Mr Whitlam continues to play an active role in public life and has been one of the University of Western Sydney's greatest friends and supporters. He continues to contribute to its teaching and research in the area of urban and regional development through the University's Whitlam Institute.

"There is no doubting Mr Whitlam's political legacy and his ongoing contribution to Australian public and political life. The University community is proud to recognise the enduring achievements of one of Australia's greatest visionaries."