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The Politics of Biography


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‘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.’

Do Australians know the full story of the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and the extent of the Queen’s involvement? 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.

In this year’s Hazel Rowley Memorial Lecture, Jenny Hocking will explore 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.

Join us for a revealing and surprising lecture at the Wheeler Centre, and the announcement of the 2018 Hazel Rowley Fellowship.

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

Dymocks Camberwell will be our bookseller at this event.





Jenny Hocking

Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking is an award-winning biographer, script-writer and one of Australia’s best-known political biographers. She is Emeritus Professor at Monash University and the inaugural Distinguished Whitlam Fellow with the Whitlam Institute at the University of Western Sydney. Prof... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.