Emeritus Professor at Monash University, Jenny Hocking, is one of Australia’s leading political biographers and academic commentators on terrorism laws.
She is perhaps best known for her exceptional and award-winning two-part biography of former ALP Prime minister, Gough Whitlam: Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History,and Gough Whitlam: His Time.
Professor Hocking paints a vivid picture of Whitlam as a complex and determined man focussed on bringing about fundamental change to Australis’ political culture, social infrastructure, and standing in the world. She also describes the tumultuous events that led to the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975, and has uncovered a number of facts of historic importance in The Dismissal Dossier: Everything you were never meant to know about November 1975. Updated on two occasions, this book draws on evidence from recently released official documents that highlight the role of various people and circumstances in the removal of Whitlam. Professor Hocking’s work is of vital importance not so simply because it sheds light on the dark side of Australian politics and the duplicity of various parties involved in Whitlam’s removal, but also because it reveals the obstacles which progressives like Whitlam face when seeking to build a better society based on parcels of social justice and human rights.
Professor Hocking currently has a long-running Federal Court case against the National Archives of Australia, seeking the release of the secret ‘Palace letters’ between the Queen and the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, regarding the 1975 Whitlam dismissal, which are embargoed by the Queen.
Professor Hocking’s work has been widely recognised as a major contribution to Australian political history, resulting in her being honoured as Distinguished Whitlam Fellowwith the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University.
Professor Hocking’s talk at the Ngara Institute’s Politics in the Pub on 27thMarch is titled: "The Way of the Reformer is Hard": Gough Whitlam's activist government, its obstruction and dismissal - lessons for today.