Vale Gough Whitlam
With the news of the passing of The Honourable Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC (1916 to 2014), 21st Prime Minister of Australia, the University of Newcastle honours his commitment to making higher education available to all.
Among many achievements in a truly remarkable career of public life, Gough Whitlam will be remembered for his role in the abolition of university fees in 1974, opening up higher education to a range of people for whom tertiary education would have been out of reach. During his term as Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam legislated for full Commonwealth control over university funding, and also introduced student income support services that remain today.
Gough Whitlam's commitment to higher education for all had a lasting impact on the Australian educational landscape, demonstrating that regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic background, everyone has the right to a quality education.
This principle, and Gough Whitlam's vision of access to higher education as a fundamental element of a fair and equitable society, is reflected in the University of Newcastle's own mission of equity and excellence – a deeply held part of our institutional "DNA". We will continue to strive to uphold our mission and ensure that this vision will be realised not only today but well into the future.