Distinguished historian Jenny Hocking fought for over a decade for access to correspondence between Governor General John Kerr and Buckingham Palace about the sacking of Gough Whitlam. Classified by the Palace as “personal correspondence”, Jenny finally secured their release in June 2020 following a landmark High Court judgment that decreed they were Commonwealth records. In her new book, The Palace Letters, Jenny discusses the implications of the Letters and their release for transparency and accountability in our democratic system, and for Australian democracy itself.
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Jenny Hocking is emeritus professor at Monash University, Distinguished Whitlam Fellow at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University, and Gough Whitlam’s award-winning biographer. Her case against the National Archives of Australia, seeking access to the 'Palace letters' between the Queen and the Governor-General at the time of the dismissal of the Whitlam government, succeeded at the High Court of Australia in May 2020, and her book on this subject is The Palace Letters.
Mark McKenna is one of Australia’s leading historians, based at the University of Sydney. He is the author of several prize-winning books, including From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories, Looking for Blackfellas’ Point and An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, which won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction and the Victorian, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australian premiers’ awards.