On 16 March 2018 the Federal Court found that the "palace letters" - the correspondence between the Queen and the Governor-General during the Whitlam Government's 1975 dismissal - could not be made publicly available under the Archives Act (Hocking v Director-General of National Archives of Australia  FCA 340). The reasons were various - but in short, His Honour Justice Griffiths found that the records were "personal" and could not be the subject of an access application.
Now on appeal, the Full Court of the Federal Court will soon consider again the public right to access this important chapter in Australian history.
But before it does, the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers is proud to bring to you the historian behind the application - Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking from Monash University, author of the award-winning biography of Gough Whitlam, who revealed the secret role of High Court justice Sir Anthony Mason in the dismissal and who has spent the better part of her career continuing to unravel the truth behind that unprecedented vent. On 22 August 2018 Professor Hocking will be in conversation with former ABC journalist Peter Manning about the Palace letters, her latest book "The Dismissal Dossier: Everything You Were Never Meant to Know about November 1975 - the Palace Connection", and the controversial circumstances that led to the sacking of one of Australia's most loved but controversial Prime Ministers.
This event is free for members and supporters. Copies of Professor Hocking's book, "The Dismissal Dossier", will be available for sale at the event.
*About Peter Manning*
Peter Manning is a well-known Australian journalist, author, broadcaster, commentator and academic. He is an Adjunct Professor in Journalism at the School of Communication at University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Prior to teaching, he was the Head of News and Current Affairs at the Seven Network (1996-2000), and Head of TV News and Current Affairs at the ABC (1989-1993). In the latter role, he began the ABC’s very successful website (abc.net.au) and founded “Lateline”, “Foreign Correspondent” and “Landline”. In the 1980s he was a field producer and then Executive Producer of “Four Corners”, winning many awards for its investigative journalism. He began his career at Fairfax and has been a reporter in print, online, radio and television.