THIRTY years after his election, former prime minister Gough Whitlam spoke at a major conference marking the anniversary of his government’s reign.

The two-day conference in Canberra was organized by Monash University’s National Centre for Australian Studies and Parliamentary Studies Unit, which is based at Clayton.

It was titled, 30 Years Later: The Whitlam Government as Modernist Politics, and provided an insight into the people who participated in this defining time in Australian politics.

Conference convenors Dr Jenny Hocking and Dr. Colleen Lewis said it was an opportunity to consider the continuing relevance of the Whitlam era and to draw lessons for politics today.

University media spokeswoman Diane Squires said the conference was highly topical.

“This conference looked beyond the Whitlam government itself, to the circumstances of its creation and demise, and its defining role in modern Australian politics.”

The conference was held at Old Parliament House yesterday and continues today.