Gough Whitlam State Memorial ServicePhotos

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Gough Whitlam State Memorial Service Noel Pearson at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Peter Rae.
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Former NSW Premier Barry Unsworth at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Former NSW Premier Kristina Kineally at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Richard Butler at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

People paying tribute to Gough Whitlam outside the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: James Brickwood.

Former NSW Premier Kristina Kineally at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Bill Kelty at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Simon Crean at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Wayne Swan at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Senator John Faulkner at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

People paying tribute to Gough Whitlam outside the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: James Brickwood.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Noel Pearson at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Former Prime Minister John Howard and his wife Janette at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

People paying tribute to Gough Whitlam outside the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: James Brickwood.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his wife Chloe at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating and his wife Anita at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and wife Blanche at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and wife Tamie at the funeral of Gough Whitlam at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Nick Moir.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the State Memorial Service for Gough Whitlam at Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Peter Rae.

The State Memorial Service for Gough Whitlam at Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Peter Rae.

The Whitlam family at the State Memorial Service for Gough Whitlam at Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Peter Rae.

The State Memorial Service for Gough Whitlam at Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Peter Rae.

The crowd in Kings Hall at Old Parliament House to watch the live Gough Whitlam memorial service streamed from Sydney.Photo: Rohan Thomson, The Canberra Times

The flag of Parliament House was lowered during the Gough Whitlam State memorial service in Canberra. Photo: Andrew Meare

Paul Kelly and Kevin Carmondy perform From Little Things Big Things Grow. Photo: Peter Rae.

Paul Kelly and Kevin Carmondy perform From Little Things Big Things Grow. Photo: Peter Rae.

The crowd at Gough Whitlam’s Memorial at Sydneys Town Hall Service in the courtyard. Photo: Nic Walker.

The crowd at Gough Whitlam’s Memorial at Sydneys Town Hall Service in the courtyard. Photo: Nic Walker.

TweetFacebook Gough Whitlam State Memorial ServiceThousands paid tribute to Australia’s former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam at a moving service at Sydney Town Hall

OPINION: Nothing lost in the translation

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IDEAL: Optimal healthcare arises from team efforts.NINE years ago the New England Journal of Medicine published an article on translational science headlined Time for a New Vision, prompting international researchers and policymakers to ponder: what is translation?
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Many are still grappling with the definition because the word means different things to different people.

For some, “translation” simply involves the development of new drugs and devices between the bench and bedside; others see it as being policy-based for holistic community benefit.

Arguably, it is both and more.

Research can happen under a microscope or when real people follow a particular intervention. To be truly successful, research must embrace a fluid discussion back and forth between the community, clinicians and scientists.

Fortunately we live in the most demographically diverse but tight-knit health district in NSW, which is also home to an elite group of medical researchers from the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health.

It has long been known here that optimal healthcare arises from team efforts. We’ve been functioning this way since John Hunter Hospital opened almost 25 years ago, and Hunter Medical Research Institute’s formation in 1998 further cemented the translational bridge between the health district and the university.

Having gained a head start, the Hunter has been perfecting the formula ever since. We’re now working on “Translation 2.0”.

Under the care model of 2014, scientific researchers have direct linkages with clinical service delivery in hospitals, while clinicians gain early access to research innovations. Community health needs drive the translational cycle and our outcomes benefit those who support it.

As both a clinician and a researcher myself, I know how vital it is that researchers remain inquisitive about what we can discover for the ultimate benefit of the patient. It’s the reason we exist.

On Wednesday night, HMRI hosted a public celebration of research translation – the 2014 HMRI Awards Night – where 50-plus new grants worth $900,000 were awarded and another $2.6million worth were acknowledged.

That’s 3.5million ways to inspire clinician-researcher-community collaborations, or more if the seed-funded projects can secure national funding – last month, local researchers obtained $17.8million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and, on Wednesday, the Australian Research Council awarded more funding for grant and fellowship support.

The prestigious HMRI Award for Research Excellence went to mental health leader Professor Brian Kelly, whose distinguished track record spans rural health, palliative care and psycho-oncology, substance use, social determinants of mental health and clinical ethics. Based at the Calvary Mater and with strong clinical and research links, Professor Kelly has brought more than $12million in funding to the region.

Perhaps more remarkable, though, is his sustained excellence in community engagement. Professor Kelly strives to make a tangible difference for people enduring chronic health and psychiatric conditions, for the terminally ill and their carers, and for entire rural communities.

Also announced was the inaugural HMRI Director’s Award for Mid-career Research, which went to neurologist Professor Mark Parsons. His pivotal research into acute stroke interventions is changing clinical practice around Australia and the world.

The award fills the gap between the annual senior and early-career honours, recognising those who are on a steep trajectory towards becoming the future leaders of research.

Professor Parsons currently heads a Phase-3 trial of a clot-busting drug known as Tenecteplase, securing almost $4million from the NHMRC. These dollars will save thousands of lives and reduce the rigours of long-term rehabilitation.

Our PULSE-sponsored Award for Early Career Research went to Dr Chris Williams, an HMRI postgraduate research fellow from Hunter New England Population Health. Singleton-born and just 33, the former physiotherapist has rapidly developed an international research reputation in health promotion and musculoskeletal pain management.

This year Dr Williams published results from the largest randomised clinical trial of back-pain management, revealing that paracetamol is no more effective than a placebo for pain relief.

He is currently working with the Healthy Children’s Initiative, overseeing the delivery of an intervention to improve canteen policies in rural and remote primary schools.

Overall it has been another record-breaking year for HMRI and the quality of grant applications for our awards night was exceptional.

Our researchers are working at the highest level internationally with a strong focus on translation and collaboration, which is reflected in HMRI’s attainment of such generous philanthropic support from the community.

Professor Michael Nilsson is director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute

EDITORIAL: Fighting the Ebola outbreak

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THE federal government’s decision to fund a 100-bed medical centre in epidemic-stricken Sierra Leone has been cautiously welcomed in most quarters.
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The government has announced it will pay an independent contractor about $20million to run the field hospital, but exactly how the hospital will be staffed remains a little unclear.

It is understood the government has finally been able to win agreement from a British organisation to treat any Australians who contract the feared Ebola virus. That removes one obstacle to more Australian volunteers offering their help and also clears the way for the government to provide more direct assistance if the opportunity arises and the need becomes apparent.

The proposed hospital will be run by the private Aspen Medical group and will employ about 240 staff, some of whom are likely to be Australian.

The government has stopped short, however, of directly equipping any medical teams, preferring to operate at arm’s distance through the contractor.

Meanwhile, the situation in the affected regions remains fluid.

In Liberia, for example, the number of new cases is reported to have dramatically declined, with some of the recently built treatment centres having few if any patients. Some people hope this means the epidemic in that country may be waning, but others fear it may be just another temporary lull, like some others before.

By contrast, in Sierra Leone, areas previously free from the disease have now been struck, with dozens of new cases and many deaths.

Since the outbreak began late last year, the virus is known to have infected more than 13,000 people in eight countries, killing about 5000.

The Australian government had already committed about $18million to the fight against Ebola. It has now added the $20million hospital funding deal and another $4million to help Australians already in Africa with international aid agencies, and to help Asia Pacific neighbours such as East Timor and Papua New Guinea to train health professionals to deal with any possible cases of the disease that might appear on their shores.

That’s a measured response, not miserly but cautious and targeted. As such, most Australians would agree with its general thrust.

A well-equipped field hospital operating under the proper protocols for this dangerous disease will almost certainly do more good than would have been achieved by sending armed services personnel into the danger area without having a clearly defined mission.

Much will depend on the course of the epidemic from here on. If the situation worsens the government might well be expected to boost funding still further or provide more direct assistance.

LEADING EDGE: Newcastle selectors forced to gamble for NSW Country Championships

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BETWEEN them, Merewether leg-spinner Courtney Moulton and Stockton-Raymond Terrace seamer Bryan Warren have taken just 11 wickets in Newcastle district cricket.

But Newcastle representative selectors believe their potential is worth the gamble in their defence of their NSW Country Championships.

Established fast bowlers Sam Gilmour, Luke Bird, Mark Cameron and Sam Webber are unavailable for the November 28 to 30 trip to Ballina, as are senior batsmen Mark Dries and Pat Darwen.

Newcastle’s stocks have been depleted further by the loss of Bayley McGill, Jayden Park and Ben Balcomb due to NSW Country under-19 commitments.

Newcastle’s failed Sydney grade cricket T20 campaign was marred by the lack of a second strike bowler to support Cameron.

Warren, who joined Stockton this season from Great Lakes, represented North Coastal at last year’s country championships.

The 19-year-old will share the new ball with Belmont’s Ray Cooper, who was Newcastle’s top wicket-taker last campaign with nine at 13.78.

Warren toured New Zealand with the under-21 Emus side and won the Adam Gilchrist Cricket Development Scholarship this year, but the right-armer has taken just three first-grade wickets for Stockton.

‘‘[Coach] Mark Cameron has seen a bit of him and thinks he has potential,’’ Newcastle chairman of selectors Phil Stanbridge said.

‘‘I suppose we’ve viewed this carnival now as a chance to give an opportunity to a few younger guys who are showing a bit of potential.’’

The absence of Park has also provided Moulton with a surprise opportunity. Moulton had played just six first-grade games as a replacement bowler before this season.

This summer he has played four matches for the NDCA heavyweights and returned the respectable figures of six wickets at 19.83.

Stanbridge said Newcastle captain Mark Littlewood had requested a second tweaker to partner off-spinner Nick Foster.

‘‘Courtney Moulton has only started in first grade with Merewether this year, but we see a bit of potential in him, and it’s an opportunity to test himself against these other sides at a senior level,’’ he said.

Newcastle squad: Mark Littlewood (captain), Ray Cooper, Marcus Hainsworth (Belmont), Simon Moore, Josh Geary, Courtney Moulton (Merewether), Greg Hunt, Joe Price (Toronto), Jeff Goninan, Nick Foster, Bryan Warren (Stockton), Jacob Montgomery (Wallsend)

Gough Whitlam memorial: Noel Pearson delivers grand eulogy

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Noel Pearson received rave reviews for his tribute to Gough Whitlam. Photo: Peter RaeIt was a grand eulogy befitting a Prime Minister who will be remembered as one of Australia’s great orators.
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When Indigenous leader Noel Pearson rose to “speak to this old man’s legacy with no partisan brief” his resounding speech on Gough Whitlam’s legacy captivated a full house at Sydney’s Town Hall, and thousands of people who had gathered outside to pay their respects.

It is now being acclaimed as one of the great public eulogies in Australian history.

“There is no more compelling public speaker in Australia than Noel Pearson,” said Michael Fullilove, executive director of Lowy Institute and the editor of the book Men and Women of Australia! Our Greatest Modern Speeches.

“And at Gough Whitlam’s magnificent memorial service, Pearson gave a speech that was worthy of his subject. That’s a very high compliment indeed.”

In Town Hall’s public square, thousands of people crowded together to watch the service from a large screen which had been erected for those members of the public who had been unsuccessful in the ticket lottery.

Undeterred by the hot sun, people stood transfixed as Pearson’s words echoed through the square, extolling Whitlam’s role in freeing Indigenous people “from those discriminations that humiliated and degraded our people”.

“Without this old man, the land and human rights of our people would never have seen the light of day,” he said.

Although Pearson’s speech came midway through the two hour memorial service, when the ceremony concluded people lingered in the square to discuss the great panegyric they had witnessed.

For Robert Thorton, 66, who watched the speech on the public screen, Pearson’s eulogy resonated with the grandeur of one of Martin Luther King Jr’s orations.

“That was in the back of my head the whole time,” he said.

“I’ve never heard anything so moving. His heart was in every word he spoke.”

Peter Scott from Rushcutters Bay praised the speech for its “ferocity and candour” and said it encapsulated the grand oratory of the Whitlam era.

“There was a language [in the speech] that was with us with Gough,” he said.

“Not too many people are capable of delivering that kind of speech. It enlivens and enriches, and thrills the hell of people when they hear it.”

Asking “what did Gough do for us anyway?” Pearson’s rhetorical question drew rounds of applause from the crowd as he rattled off the list of Whitlam’s policy achievements.

“It was a metaphor of Gough and although it was Noel Pearson’s own voice it was the voice of Australia in many ways,” said Theodora Lafkas, who also in the crowd.

Ms Lafkas said people needed to be reminded of Whitlam’s achievements and hoped it “awakened a passion for change”.

Protectionist owners to put Melbourne Cup on public display in Newcastle Jockey Club

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WINNERS: Protectionist owners Jamie Lovett and Luke Murrell with trainer Andreas Wohler at a media conference in Melbourne. Pictures: Getty ImagesTHE 2014 Melbourne Cup trophy and winning horse Protectionist will both call the Hunter home by the weekend.
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Part-owners Jamie Lovett and Luke Murrell, directors of the Australian Bloodstock thoroughbred racing syndicate that owns the German-bred champion, were due to bring the $175,000, 18-carat gold Hardy Brothers trophy back with them on Wednesday night.

It will do the rounds of family, friends and other owners in the next few weeks before being shown off to the public at Newcastle Jockey Club later this month.


Murrell said German trainer Andreas Wohler wanted to see how Protectionist settled at Werribee on Wednesday before handing the reins to Newcastle-based trainer Kris Lees, who will continue to oversee the five-year-old stallion’s preparation at his Broadmeadow stables.

‘‘The horse will probably be up there some time in the next 72 hours, but he’s pulled up really well,’’ Murrell told the Newcastle Herald from Melbourne on Wednesday.

WINNERS: Protectionist with strapper Lisa Kruellmann at Werribee on Wednesday. Pictures: Getty Images

A little rough around the edges after a night of celebrations and precious little sleep, Murrell and Lovett spent much of Wednesday fulfilling various media commitments in Melbourne.

‘‘We’d rather be doing this than be at home kicking the cat and wondering what could have been, so it’s terrific,’’ Murrell said.

Having cancelled their return flights to Newcastle, Murrell said they were scheduled to fly to Sydney on Wednesday night then drive back to their respective homes ‘‘and start getting back to normal life again’’.

‘‘Even just walking up the street today, we had people saying, ‘Oh, you just won the Cup,’ and different things like that, but we’re just a couple of hillbillies from Newcastle, so it’s been an interesting experience the whole thing,’’ Murrell said on Wednesday.

‘‘We’ll probably do something at the jockey club in the next few weeks and open it up if people want to come and get some photos with it, but it’s had plenty of different liquids in it overnight so it doesn’t smell real good at the moment.’’

Just as Lees has taken over from Wohler as trainer, Australian Bloodstock assumed full ownership from German Christoph Berglar as Protectionist crossed the line on Tuesday. The arrangement had been 50-50, but Berglar agreed to sell his share to the Rutherford-based syndicate, and the final details of that transaction are in the process of being finalised.

Plans are already in place for the horse to return to Flemington next year for a crack at a second Cup.

It could be joined by Terrubi, a four-year-old French stayer Australian Bloodstock purchased recently. Having won four times in nine starts, Terrubi is trained in Sydney by David Payne and is being prepared for The Championships next autumn.

Long-time Hunter racing commentator and form analyst Gary Harley said Australian Bloodstock’s success in such a short time had been nothing short of remarkable.

A former first-grade player for Lakes United and Wyong, Belmont-based Lovett is a director of the Global Property International real estate group. Murrell, a former first-grade cricketer in Maitland, is a financial planner based in Aberglasslyn.

The two men joined forces in September 2010 to form Australian Bloodstock and since then have produced three Melbourne Cup runners.

Illustrious Blue ran ninth in 2010, Lucas Cranach finished third in 2011 and Protectionist blew the field away on Tuesday to win by four lengths.

‘‘It’s an amazing achievement, that these two blokes in only four years have formed Australian Bloodstock and had three Melbourne Cup runners,’’ Harley said.

‘‘One of those has run third and now Protectionist has won so convincingly.

‘‘They’ve had a number of other smart horses as well that have won some big races, and they’re involved in other areas of the community through sponsorship and charities.

‘‘They began a sponsorship at Newcastle Jockey Club six months ago, and in September they raised almost $25,000 through a race day for the Mark Hughes Foundation, so it’s great to see a couple of local blokes doing so well,’’ Harley said.

Gough Whitlam, remembered by his eldest son, Antony Whitlam, QC

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* Antony Whitlam QC, son of Gough Whitlam, pays tribute to his father
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Aunty Millie Ingram gave a moving Welcome to Country.

I also wish to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation on whose land this notable building stands. I pay respect to Gadigal elders – past and present – and to so many other indigenous Australians we are honoured to have join with us today, including members of Vincent Lingiari’s family.

This is a celebration of the life of Edward Gough Whitlam. I shall try to remember that.

Gough himself, when speaking on occasions like this, had a tendency to become so enthusiastic in his advocacy of projects associated with the departed person that the subject of the proceedings rated only a cursory mention.

I am Gough’s eldest child.

The only advantage primogeniture appears to have given me upon my father’s death, is this speaking slot.

Gough, of course, would have loved to speak today, but the rules of the game necessarily disqualify him. That is just as well because I gather the Town Hall is booked tomorrow!

There can be no complaint about Gough’s family cycle. True, his dear wife of nearly 70 years, our mother Margaret, predeceased him. But they both far exceeded all actuarial estimates for their generation.

Gough’s only sister, Freda, survives him and we are delighted that she is here today.

All Gough’s children are here today.

There are four of us ……….. and that is now the final count.

I say this because, not so long ago, when Gough was growing older and more frail and, as Catherine says, more lovable, a visitor to his office politely asked how many children he had.

Gough looked up and answered: “Four.”

And then with a cheeky smile and eyes glinting he added: “…………………. so far.”

Gough was also a much loved patriarch for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Today’s speeches remind us of Gough’s purpose in life.

They were delivered with power and beauty that leave us all in awe.

Cate is a woman of courage and conviction who refuses to be boxed in by her talent in theatre and in cinema.

Noel is an iconoclast of great forensic skill, with a poet’s gift for language that he employs tirelessly in the interests of all Australians.

Coming from a younger generation, their assessments of Gough’s impact are especially satisfying. Cate and Noel have added great lustre to this occasion.

Graham and John are, of course, of the Labor Party.

Graham was Gough’s collaborator from the time he became leader. John was Gough’s closest friend and confidant in the last years of his life. They are both family, and they know how grateful we are to them for what they have had to say.

Gough’s time in government was the pinnacle of his career.

It is a particular pleasure, therefore, that Doug McClelland, Les Johnson, Kep Enderby and of course, Paul Keating, are here with us today.

Unfortunately, Bill Hayden and Tom Uren are unwell and cannot attend.

Bill’s moving tribute to Gough is etched in our hearts and minds.

For Gough, public service remained the most noble pursuit and there was no more important or honourable occupation than being a member of parliament.

All his life he placed his faith in parliamentary government, responsible government and the two-party system.

To the end of his days Gough was conscious that he owed everything that he had been able to achieve in government to the selfless efforts of members of the Australian Labor Party and to the confidence placed in him by so many of them.

The media coverage of Gough’s death has been generous, and we have been greatly touched by the affection and respect from the public.

There has, of course, been an information overload about the details of Gough’s life.

However, I will flesh out two subjects.

First, the matter of religion. Gough’s irreverent wit should not be misconstrued.

It is true that Gough himself was not a religious person. However, he grew up in a strongly religious household. His mother came from a prominent Baptist family in Melbourne. In Canberra, Gough’s parents and his sister became Presbyterians.

At the Canberra Grammar School, Gough repositioned himself as an Anglican. He married our mother Margaret in the Church of England, and he was astute to have each of us baptised and confirmed.

Gough’s sister, Freda, was moderator of the Uniting Church in this state.

Gough’s love of history informed a broad knowledge of religion.

As children we were aware of this early.

To keep us occupied on long car trips there were no video games or singalongs.

Rather we were bombarded with the most exquisite detail of the doctrine and liturgy in different rites of the Christian church. Gough did not claim to be a scholar, but he did have a lifelong fascination with religion.

Gough employed religious imagery in his speech. Many of his attempts at self-parody about matters divine have been recalled with evident amusement during the past fortnight.

As I have said, Gough himself was not a religious person, but by his background and disposition he did not scoff at people who were religious and he was genuinely respectful of their beliefs and moral values.

They included many of his closest friends.

In every way, Gough was ever keen to inculcate in his children the virtues of religious tolerance. Plain courtesy and consideration for others was a big part of that.

And of course, this was more than just religious tolerance. It was a quality that informed so much of what he aspired to do for our society as a whole.

Now a little more biography and geography.

In 1947 our family (comprising Gough, Margaret, me and Nick) moved to Cronulla. When Gough entered parliament in 1952, his seat of Werriwa included the whole of the Sutherland Shire and extended all the way down to Helensburgh and right across to Liverpool. My favourite boyhood memory of election campaigning with my father is of him trawling for votes, armed with a loudspeaker, not being driven along streets in a flat-bed truck or a van, but motoring along the Woronora River in a “tinny”.

In 1955 there was a redistribution, and the shire and points south were cut out of Werriwa. The new seat extended along an axis north from Liverpool to the western edge of Parramatta at Wentworthville.

So at the end of the school year in 1957 the family (now increased with the addition of Stephen and Catherine) moved to a new house at Cabramatta.

That is where Gough and Margaret lived until he became prime minister. He never had a flat in town. During the whole of that time (for the last 13 years of which Gough was successively deputy leader and leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party, with functions to attend all over the metropolis), if he was in Sydney, Gough slept at home in Cabramatta.

Against that background, you can imagine my surprise, in the wash-up of Gough’s death, to read one of the more antic commentators thrillingly expose “the myth that Whitlam was a western suburbs kid made good”.

I had never heard of such a myth. Has anyone?

I did know that he had lived most of his adult life far from the centre of town in two houses built on unsewered blocks of land.

I did know that for 20 years he had been an energetic local member in western Sydney where he had witnessed the problems of its rapid development, and where, with his vast knowledge of European culture, and the history of the Mediterranean people, he accorded unfeigned respect and dignity to all the area’s many immigrants.

After parliament Gough remained vigorously engaged in our national public debate on many issues. Constitutional reform and equality of electoral enrolment spring to mind, but it is difficult to think of a significant topic on which he did not feel obliged to express a view.

It was a brilliant decision of Bob Hawke’s government to send him to UNESCO. It got him out of the way and it allowed Gough to employ his great talents in the interests of world heritage and culture.

Many talented and dedicated men and women have served on Gough’s personal staff.

Until he became deputy leader in 1960 there was only his electorate secretary, the late Norma Thompson, whom we always knew as Miss Thompson. She operated from a corner in his office in the old Federal Members Rooms in the Commonwealth Bank’s “money box” building in Martin Place.

Of the others engaged over the last half century, it would be invidious to single anybody out. They all endured his occasional changes in temperament, but at the same time they will all know how much he valued the contribution of each of them. It is truly gratifying that so many of them have taken the trouble to join us here today.

Stamina is an essential ingredient in the make-up of any successful politician. Gough was lucky enough to have it in spades for most of his life.

For the past few years, Gough has lived in an aged care facility at Lulworth where he was wonderfully looked after by everyone.

Until the last couple of months Gough continued to go into his office four times a week.

There were also increasingly frequent attendances upon all kinds of health professionals. Again I will not single anybody out. They know how grateful we are to each of them for their skill and care.

The grace and serenity with which Gough accepted the decline in his health were quite striking.

My brothers and I owe a particular debt to our sister, Catherine.

The man whose appearance always brightened up his demeanour and to whom all his children are forever indebted for his devotion and love, is his driver, Michael Vlassopoulos.

This is a State Memorial Service.

Prime Minister, we are most grateful to you for authorising this occasion.

We are also conscious of the great honour done us by the presence of the Governor-General, Lady Cosgrove and so many other distinguished persons and representatives of foreign governments who have gathered with Gough’s family, friends and supporters here today.

It is a particular pleasure to welcome so many from Papua New Guinea, including Prime Minister O’Neill and Gough’s old friend, Grand Chief Michael Somare.

At the start of today the genius of William Barton reminded us that we are here in Australia, a land where the indigenous peoples have lived for thousands of years.

The road to reconciliation and recognition started with the Whitlam government, but it should be remembered that its land rights proposals were in substance implemented by Malcolm Fraser’s government.

The attendance of representatives from the Gurindji people is a truly humbling testament to Gough’s legacy.

Events at Wave Hill are the subject of the moving song written and performed today by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody.

This song was written in the early 1990s around the time of Paul Keating’s great Redfern speech.

Soon after, a brilliant young Aboriginal lawyer called Noel Pearson came to public attention in the wake of the Native Title cases.

The road ahead may be tortuous and difficult for all Australians but we need not be divided on partisan lines.

The artistry of the orchestra and choirs today has been sublime and utterly spellbinding. Gough’s idiosyncratic predilections in the music for this occasion have been brilliantly vindicated.

The next piece, Jerusalem, was the recessional hymn at Margaret’s memorial service.

William Blake was, just like Gough, a radical.

An Oxford theology professor has written that the words of this poem “stress the importance of people taking responsibility for change and building a better society”.

In that spirit, it is a fitting piece to end the celebration of Gough’s life, and the symmetry provides a neat memory for us.

Thank you all for coming.

New Kookaburra Matt Dawson has big shirt to fill

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ROOKIE: Matt Dawson before his debut. Picture: Dan Carson
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RETIRED Kookaburras midfielder Rob Hammond played 256 internationals for Australia, scored 28 goals and racked up gold medals at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and world championships.

All wearing the Australian No.6 shirt.

On Tuesday Newcastle Norths defender Matt Dawson was handed the No.6 Kookaburras shirt by Hammond as he prepared to make his debut in the senior national side that was playing that night against India in Perth.

The 20-year-old performed with distinction in his Kookaburras debut, maintaining a solid defence in Australia’s 4-0 victory in game one of the four-Test series.

Dawson also played in game two on Wednesday night.

‘‘We got presented with our shirts during the day, so I got pretty excited after I received mine,’’ Dawson told the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday.

‘‘He’s worn it for 14 years, so I hope to be able to do something similar.’’

Hammond suffered plenty of ebbs and flows in his 13-year international career.

He suffered various injuries, including a broken wrist that robbed the 33-year-old of a third Olympics appearance at London in 2012.

Asked what words of wisdom he took from Hammond, Dawson said: ‘‘He said now I’ve been given the opportunity and if I want to make a career out of it, that it’s up to me now to keep working hard.’’

Any pre-game nerves about making his international debut quickly evaporated for Dawson once he took his first touch against the world No.9-ranked Indians.

‘‘It was definitely different playing against the Indian team as they’re all quick and skilful players,’’ he said. ‘‘It was a step up, but nothing I didn’t really expect it to be, and it wasn’t too daunting for me.’’

Eight defenders are battling for five spots in the Kookaburras squad for the Champions Trophy from December 6 to 14 in Bhubaneswar, India.

New Kookaburras coach Graham Reid is yet to name his squad for the Tests against India on Saturday and Sunday.

Dawson believes he is a good chance for the Champions Trophy if he receives another opportunity to shine.

‘‘If I can build on last night’s performance and put in another two or three performances like last night, or a little bit better, then I’m slightly confident I’ll get the nod.’’

IN FULL: Noel Pearson’s eulogy for Gough Whitlam

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Noel Pearson delivering his eulogy for former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on Wednesday.Paul Keating said the reward for public life is public progress.
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For one born estranged from the nation’s citizenship, into a humble family of a marginal people striving in the teeth of poverty and discrimination, today it is assuredly no longer the case.

This because of the equalities of opportunities afforded by the Whitlam program.

Raised next to the wood heap of the nation’s democracy, bequeathed no allegiance to any political party, I speak to this old man’s legacy with no partisan brief.

Rather, my signal honour today on behalf of more people than I could ever know, is to express our immense gratitude for the public service of this old man.

I once took him on a tour to my village and we spoke about the history of the mission and my youth under the Government of his nemesis, Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

My home was an Aboriginal reserve under a succession of Queensland laws commencing in 1897.

These laws were notoriously discriminatory and the bureaucratic apparatus controlling the reserves maintained vigil over the smallest details concerning its charges.

Superintendents held vast powers and a cold and capricious beaucracy presided over this system for too long in the 20th century.

In June 1975, the Whitlam Government enacted the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Queensland Discrimatory Laws Act.

The law put to purpose the power conferred upon the Commonwealth Parliament by the 1967 referendum, finally outlawing the discrimination my father and his father lived under since my grandfather was removed to the mission as a boy and to which I was subject the first 10 years of my life.

Powers regulating residency on reserves without a permit, the power of reserve managers to enter private premises without the consent of the householder, legal representation and appeal from court decisions, the power of reserve managers to arbitrarily direct people to work, and the terms and conditions of employment, were now required to treat Aboriginal Queenslanders on the same footing as other Australians.

We were at last free from those discriminations that humiliated and degraded our people.

The companion to this enactment, which would form the architecture of indigenous human rights akin to the Civil Rights Act 1965 in the United States, was the Racial Discrimination Act.

It was in Queensland under Bjelke-Petersen that its importance became clear.

In 1976 a Wik man from Aurukun on the western Cape York Peninsula, John Koowarta, sought to purchase the Archer Bend pastoral lease from its white owner.

The Queensland Government refused the sale. The High Court’s decision in Koowarta versus Bjelke-Petersen upheld the Racial Discrimination Act as a valid exercise of the external affairs powers of the Commonwealth.

However, in an act of spite, the Queensland Government converted the lease into the Acher Bend National Park.

Old man Koowarta died a broken man, the winner of a landmark High Court precedent but the victim of an appalling discrimination.

The Racial Discrimination Act was again crucial in 1982 when a group of Murray Islanders led by Eddie Mabo claimed title under the common law to their traditional homelands in the Torres Strait.

In 1985 Bjelke-Petersen sought to kill the Murray Islanders’ case by enacting a retrospective extinguishment of any such title.

There was no political or media uproar against Bjelke-Petersen’s law. There was no public condemnation of the state’s manuover. There was no redress anywhere in the democratic forums or procedures of the state or the nation.

If there were no Racial Discrimination Act that would have been the end of it. Land rights would have been dead, there would never have been a Mabo case in 1992, there would have been no Native Title Act under Prime Minister Keating in 1993.

Without this old man the land and human rights of our people would never have seen the light of day.

There would never have been Mabo and its importance to the history of Australia would have been lost without the Whitlam program.

Only those who have known discrimination truly know its evil.

Only those who have never experienced prejudice can discount the importance of the Racial Discrimination Act.

This old man was one of those rare people who never suffered discrimination but understood the importance of protection from its malice.

On this day we will recall the repossession of the Gurindji of Wave Hill, when the Prime Minister said, “Vincent Lingiari, I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof in Australian law that these lands belong to the Gurindji people and I put into your hands this piece of earth itself as a sign that we restore them to you and your children forever.”

It was this old man’s initiative with the Woodward Royal Commission that led to Prime Minister Fraser’s enactment of the Aboriginal Land Rights Northern Territory Act, legislation that would see more than half of the territory restored to its traditional owners.

Of course recalling the Whitlam Government’s legacy has been, for the past four decades since the dismissal, a fraught and partisan business.

Assessments of those three highly charged years and their aftermath divide between the nostalgia and fierce pride of the faithful, and the equally vociferous opinion that the Whitlam years represented the nadir of national government in Australia. Let me venture a perspective.

The Whitlam government is the textbook case of reform trumping management.

In less than three years an astonishing reform agenda leapt off the policy platform and into legislation and the machinery and programs of government.

The country would change forever. The modern cosmopolitan Australia finally emerged like a technicolour butterfly from its long dormant chrysalis.

And 38 years later we are like John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin’s Jewish insurgents ranting against the despotic rule of Rome, defiantly demanding “and what did the Romans ever do for us anyway?”

Apart from Medibank and the Trade Practices Act, cutting tariff protections and no-fault divorce in the Family Law Act, the Australia Council, the Federal Court, the Order of Australia, federal legal aid, the Racial Discrimination Act, needs-based schools funding, the recognition of China, the abolition of conscription, the law reform commission, student financial assistance, the Heritage Commission, non-discriminatory immigration rules, community health clinics, Aboriginal land rights, paid maternity leave for public servants, lowering the minimum voting age to 18 years and fair electoral boundaries and Senate representation for the territories.

Apart from all of this, what did this Roman ever do for us?

And the Prime Minister with that classical Roman mien, one who would have been as naturally garbed in a toga as a safari suit, stands imperiously with twinkling eyes and that slight self-mocking smile playing around his mouth, in turn infuriating his enemies and delighting his followers.

There is no need for nostalgia and yearning for what might have been.

The achievements of this old man are present in the institutions we today take for granted and played no small part in the progress of modern Australia.

There is no need to regret three years was too short. Was any more time needed? The breadth and depth of the reforms secured in that short and tumultuous period were unprecedented, and will likely never again be repeated.

The devil-may-care attitude to management as opposed to reform is unlikely to be seen again by governments whose priorities are to retain power rather than reform.

The Whitlam program as laid out in the 1972 election platform consisted three objectives: to promote equality, to involve the people of Australia in the decision-making processes of our land, and to liberate the talents and uplift the horizons of the Australian people.

This program is as fresh as it was when first conceived. It scarcely could be better articulated today.

Who would not say the vitality of our democracy is a proper mission of government and should not be renewed and invigorated.

Who can say that liberating the talents and uplifting the horizons of Australians is not a worthy charter for national leadership?

It remains to mention the idea of promoting equality. My chances in this nation were a result of the Whitlam program. My grandparents and parents could never have imagined the doors that opened to me which were closed to them.

I share this consciousness with millions of my fellow Australians whose experiences speak in some way or another to the great power of distributed opportunity.

I don’t know why someone with this old man’s upper middle class background could carry such a burning conviction that the barriers of class and race of the Australia of his upbringing and maturation should be torn down and replaced with the unapologetic principle of equality.

I can scarcely point to any white Australian political leader of his vintage and of generations following of whom it could be said without a shadow of doubt, he harboured not a bone of racial, ethnic or gender prejudice in his body.

This was more than urbane liberalism disguising human equivocation and private failings; it was a modernity that was so before its time as to be utterly anachronistic.

For people like me who had no chance if left to the means of our families we could not be more indebted to this old man’s foresight and moral vision for universal opportunity.

Only those born bereft truly know the power of opportunity. Only those accustomed to its consolations can deprecate a public life dedicated to its furtherance and renewal. This old man never wanted opportunity himself but he possessed the keenest conviction in its importance.

For it behoves the good society through its government to ensure everyone has chance and opportunity.

This is where the policy convictions of Prime Minister Whitlam were so germane to the uplift of many millions of Australians.

We salute this old man for his great love and dedication to his country and to the Australian people.

When he breathed he truly was Australia’s greatest white elder and friend without peer of the original Australians.

Noel Pearson is an Aboriginal Australian lawyer, land rights activist and founder of the Cape York Institute. This is the full text of the speech he gave at Gough Whitlam’s memorial.

Ryan Carters switches to hitting sixes with Sydney Sixers

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Ryan Carters says playing for Australia is definitely a goal. Ryan Carters says playing for Australia is definitely a goal.
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Ryan Carters says playing for Australia is definitely a goal.

Ryan Carters says playing for Australia is definitely a goal.

Canberra’s Ryan Carters will switch to hitting sixes with the Sydney Sixers this season, aiming to make the Big Bash League final at his homeground Manuka Oval, push his claims for an Australian call-up and raise money for impoverished women in India.

Carters has left the Sydney Thunder to join an all-star Sixers BBL squad, which already has a Canberra flavour, with former ACT Comets stars Brad Haddin and Nathan Lyon. And the former Radford College student is already eyeing a potential homecoming, for a historic BBL final in Canberra on January 28.

“The Sixers have got the team to be very successful … the potential’s there to win the Big Bash tournament. There’s so many players with international experience on the roster,” Carters said.

“It would be extraordinary to play a BBL final at Manuka. Last year I played the Shield final there [with NSW] and that was an amazing experience I’ll cherish. The intensity would be lifted again under lights in a BBL final … three guys who have represented Canberra, it would be something pretty special to play the final together at Manuka.”

An opening bat for NSW in the four-day Shield competition, Carters averaged more than 60 by dropping down the order in this summer’s national one-day competition. The 24-year-old is unsure where he will bat for the Sixers, but he will return to wicketkeeping, given Australia Test gloveman Haddin is unlikely to be available for most  of the BBL.

“I still work as hard as ever on my keeping, in the pre-season I had some good opportunities to work with Brad Haddin and Steve Rixon … Hadds has been a great coach and role model for me.”

Carters continues to enhance his image as a cricket role model, too, and has launched Batting For Change, an initiative to raise money for impoverished women in India. Carters will donate $100 for every six the Sixers hit this season to the education of women in India, calling on teammates and fans to join the cause.

“Even if it’s $1 per six, it all adds up and goes a long way,” Carters said. “One hundred million people under the age of 25 are living on less than $1 a day in India right now, it’s hard to imagine.

“Last year we raised $30,000 with the Sydney Thunder, this year we’re hoping we can raise $66,666 with the Sixers, which could support the tertiary education of 500 women living in poverty in Mumbai.

“Educating women, in particular, goes a long way to transforming a family in a community, because educated women can make intelligent autonomous decisions about where they want to work, how they’re going to support their family and be able to raise healthy educated children of their own.

“I’ve travelled to India twice and seen the stark inequalities that exist in Indian society. You can walk out of a five-star hotel and then be walking through a slum two minutes later where people struggle to meet the normal necessities for life including basic nutrition, clean water, a roof over their heads, let alone a quality education.”

Carters admitted there had been “plenty of banter” from former Thunder teammates about the switch, but said the Sixers provided a “positive cricket environment”  with the bulk of his NSW teammates and Blues coach Trevor Bayliss.

“It’s definitely a goal of mine to play for Australia in any form, but I don’t dwell on it,” Carters said.