It's time to remember the Whitlam years

BLACKTOWN Arts Centre's It's Timely exhibition will open next Tuesday night.

In the early 1970s, Australians were demanding social change, and rallying against the Vietnam War and for sexual and racial equality.

In this climate of disquiet, Gough Whitlam, first as opposition leader and then as prime minister, travelled to Blacktown to deliver two of the most important speeches in Australian history.

Mr Whitlam chose Blacktown because the area and its people represented the opportunity, diversity and complexity of the nation — as it still does today.

It's Timely is framed by the two speeches Mr Whitlam delivered in Blacktown in 1972 and 1974, and its images document the changes that transformed life and culture in Australia.

Artists active at the time will be joined by those who came of age, or to Australia, as a result of the policies and legacies of the Whitlam government.

Next Tuesday's exhibition launch at Bowman Hall, 6pm-8pm, coincides with the 40th anniversary of Whitlam's Labor Party policy speech.

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