We are deeply saddened at the passing of Hon E G Whitlam AC QC this morning.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Mr Whitlams children, Antony, Nicholas and Stephen Whitlam and Catherine Dovey, and their families.
Australia has suffered a great loss today. Mr Whitlam made an outstanding contribution to the well-being and prosperity of our country and its care and concern for the most vulnerable.
It is hard to imagine what Australia would look like today had it not been for the Whitlam Government.
Mr Whitlams prime ministership was one of Australias most transformative. His drive and vision modernised our country.
The Whitlam Government introduced free access to education and medical care for everyone in our society, not just the privileged. He started the process of giving land rights to the first Australians, introduced no-fault divorce and social security for sole parents.
Gough has a longstanding connection to the Illawarra as his electorate of Werriwa extended to Helensburgh when he was first elected; a connection that stayed with him beyond his time in office with the conferral of an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Wollongong in 1989. The region continues to benefit from his and his governments legacy.
We know that many locals will share in our sadness today and want to celebrate the magnificent legacy that Mr Whitlam has left to his country.
We also acknowledge the contribution of the late Margaret Whitlam AO to public life, particularly her advocacy on womens rights.
We have both established a condolence book on our websites for messages that people may wish to leave for the family.
Sharon Bird: http://www.sharonbird.com.au/condolence_book
Stephen Jones: http://www.stephenjones.org.au/condolence_book
Gough and Margaret were true modernisers. They changed the nation and will be sadly missed.