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The Politics of Biography

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In this year’s Hazel Rowley Memorial Lecture, Jenny Hocking explores a matter that goes to the heart of questions of power and sovereignty in Australia, the secret role of the Palace in the dismissal of the Whitlam government, and her latest book, The Dismissal Dossier: Everything You Were Never Meant to Know About November 1975 – the Palace Connection.

‘It is now more than 40 years since the dismissal of the Whitlam government and the palace continues to treat us as the recalcitrant colonial child, not to be trusted with such a dangerous thing as knowledge of our own history.’

Gough Whitlam's award-winning biographer Jenny Hocking is pursuing the release of letters between Governor General John Kerr, the Queen, Prince Charles and the Queen’s private secretary, Martin Charteris, through Federal Court action against the National Archives of Australia. Under instructions from the Queen, these letters are embargoed. Do Australians know the full story of the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and the extent of the Queen’s involvement?

Presented in partnership with Writers Victoria and the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship.

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