The dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government on November 11, 1975 was stunning news to most Australians, whichever side of the political divide they inhabited. Many people on first hearing that the Governor-General had sacked the Prime Minister and appointed the Opposition leader as caretaker in his place, simply refused to believe it.
Shockwaves from the Dismissal generated profound political and personal ripples, particularly in the lives of those who had come of age in the 1960s and ‘70s. For some, it was a marker of what had been gained and lost in those remarkable years of change. For others directly involved in events, it was a battle to the political death over principles and power.
Here, thirty prominent Australians recall the events of November 11, 1975 and the days and weeks that followed. From Bob Ellis to Bob Hawke, Lindy Morrison to Frank Moorhouse, Michelle Grattan to David Kemp, they take stock of those times with a mixture of passion, pride, regret, scepticism and humour.