The JCPML Patron is an honorary position, traditionally held by a past Labor Prime Minister. The JCPML Patron provides advice and support for JCPML activities.
The current JCPML Patron is the Hon. Julia Gillard AC.
In January 2015, Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia, became the Patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library.
Gillard presented the 2017 JCPML Anniversary Lecture, titled Great reform requires courage.
The Honourable Julia Gillard AC was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013. Ms Gillard was the first woman to serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister.
As Prime Minister and in her previous role as Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy, the 12th biggest economy in the world, during the Global Financial Crisis and as Australia positioned to seize the benefits of Asia’s rise. Ms Gillard developed Australia’s guiding policy paper, Australia in the Asian Century.
Ms Gillard delivered nation-changing policies, including reforming Australian education from early childhood to university, creating an emissions trading scheme, improving the provision and sustainability of health, aged and dental care, commencing Australia’s first national scheme to care for people with disabilities and restructuring the telecommunications sector.
In foreign policy, Ms Gillard strengthened Australia’s alliance with the United States, secured stronger architecture for the relationship with China, upgraded Australia’s ties with India and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia and South Korea.
Ms Gillard represented Australia at the G20 and won Australia’s right to host the 2014 meeting. She also represented Australia at the East Asia Summit, APEC, NATO-ISAF and chaired CHOGM. Under Ms Gillard’s leadership, Australia was elected to serve on the United Nations Security Council.
Ms Gillard is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In February 2014, Ms Gillard was appointed chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organisation dedicated to expanding access to quality education worldwide. Ms Gillard is a member of the board of directors of Beyond Blue, an organisation committed to helping Australians understand and manage anxiety and depression. Ms Gillard also serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide.
Ms Gillard’s memoirs, My Story, were published by Random House in September 2014.
Biographical information courtesy of the Office of the Hon. Julia Gillard, 2015.
On 26 January 2017 Ms Gillard was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia.
In July 2009, Paul Keating, former Prime Minister of Australia, became the Patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. The Hon. Paul Keating resigned as JCPML patron in June 2014.
Paul Keating was Australia’s 24th Prime Minister, leading the nation from December 1991 to March 1996. Paul Keating is one of the great Australian political leaders. His continued high international standing reflects his political and social achievements, his knowledge of world affairs and the close contacts that he maintains with national leaders and former leaders.
His distinguished parliamentary career began in 1969 when he was elected to the House of Representatives, representing the electorate of Blaxland for the Australian Labor Party (ALP). In 1975, at the age of thirty one, he became a federal minister and held the portfolio of Minister for Northern Australia in the ALP Whitlam Cabinet.
Between 1976 and 1983 Keating served in the Opposition Shadow Ministry and was spokesperson for a number of portfolios including agriculture, minerals and energyWith the election of a Labor national government in 1983, Keating became Treasurer [Finance Minister], a position he held until 1991. This role saw him initiate and implement economic reforms that transformed the Australian economy. These included the progressive deregulation of the financial sector, the float of the Australian dollar, extensive tax reform, the dismantling of many protectionist barriers and the maintenance of the Accord with the Australian trade union movement. In 1984 he was named Finance Minister of the Year by financial/economic journal Euromoney.
In December 1991 Keating became Prime Minister and in March 1993 he led the ALP to an historic fifth term of government. As Prime Minister he continued his progressive reform program which included the establishment of a National Training Authority, a national superannuation scheme and labour market and training reforms that addressed Australia’s long-term unemployment problems. The Keating Government also implemented the historic Mabo legislation that recognised the land rights of Australia’s Indigenous people. Keating also raised proposals for constitutional reform to facilitate Australia becoming a republic.
Under the Keating Government, foreign relations focused on developing independent policies, recognising Australia’s geographical position in the Asian region. Keating took an active role in the development of APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and initiated its annual leaders’ meeting with its commitment to a regional free trade agenda.
Keating has been awarded Honorary Doctorates in Law from Keio University in Tokyo (May 1995), the National University of Singapore (September 1999) and the University of New South Wales (April 2003).
As a political observer he contributes articles to newspapers and international journals that discuss international, economic and social issues and maintains a keen interest in policy areas with which he was involved in government.
His book, Engagement: Australia Faces the Asia-Pacific, examines Australia’s foreign policy objectives and achievements during his term as Prime Minister and was published in March 2000. It has been translated into Japanese and Chinese.
Keating is a frequent visitor to China and the Asian region and a sought after keynote speaker at major domestic and international conferences. He is an engaging orator, adept at delivering a formal paper or speaking extemporaneously. As a speaker, his talent is pulling together disparate ideas, trends and facts, in an historical context, to produce a ‘big picture’-type analysis of the topic. Paul Keating is a most articulate speaker with a wealth of international financial, political and diplomatic experience and an acute contemporary insight into global affairs. He has an abiding interest in architecture, urban design and music.
Biographical information courtesy of the Office of the Hon. Paul Keating, 2009.
In July 1998 Gough Whitlam, former Prime Minister of Australia, became the Foundation Patron of Australia’s first prime ministerial library.
Whitlam has had a long-standing personal involvement with cultural heritage institutions throughout the years. In supporting the JCPML, its aims and objectives, he and Mrs Whitlam had travelled to Western Australia each year to participate in the JCPML Anniversary events and attend openings of our major exhibitions in the John Curtin Gallery.
Their commitment to the JCPML had been invaluable to the development of the library and its programs, and their personal involvement had been a source of inspiration.
In announcing his retirement as active Patron of the JCPML in 2008, Whitlam said ‘As long as I was sufficiently mobile I greatly enjoyed being the patron of a foundation honouring the Australian Prime Minister who took the initial steps to ensure that World War Two would be succeeded by more effective structures than those which succeeded World War One.’
Whitlam had agreed to continue to hold the title of Foundation Patron of the JCPML, as recognition of his contribution over more than a decade.
Gough Whitlam was Australia’s 21st Prime Minister, leading the nation from December 1972 to November 1975. He was born in the Melbourne suburb of Kew in 1916. He completed his arts degree at the University of Sydney. Mr Whitlam’s law studies were interrupted by World War II and he served in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from 1942 to 1945. Following the war, Mr Whitlam completed his law degree and was admitted to the New South Wales and Federal Courts as Barrister.
In 1945, Mr Whitlam joined the Australian Labor Party and held the seat of Werriwa in the House of Representatives from 1952. He retained the seat of Werriwa through 11 federal elections over the next 25 years. Mr Whitlam was known as one of parliament’s most articulate members. From 1967 to 1972 he was the elected Leader of the ALP. As Leader of the Opposition he led the reform of the ALP platform, seeking to modernize the party’s views by emphasising urban development, housing, education, foreign affairs and health.
From 1972 to 1975 Mr Whitlam served as Prime Minister of Australia. His was the first Labor government after more than two decades. He was the first prime minister to visit the People’s Republic of China. The Whitlam government drew on international agreements to develop programs for human rights, the environment and conservation and fostered Australian participation in international organizations. They initiated Australia’s first federal legislation on human rights, the environment and heritage. Following the Dismissal of his government by the Governor General in 1975, Mr Whitlam served as Leader of the Opposition for two years and remained in Parliament until 1978.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Mr Whitlam has received many honours and held many public positions. In 1976 he was awarded the Socialist International Silver Plate of Honor and in 1978 he received the Companion of the Order of Australia. From 1983 to 1986 the Hawke government appointed him as the Australian Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris. He was the first national visiting fellow of the Australian National University and a visiting professor at Harvard University and the University of Adelaide. In 1985 he was appointed to Australia’s Constitutional Commission. He was Chairman of the Australia-China Council from 1986 to 1991 and chairman of the Council of the National Gallery of Australian from 1987 to 1990. In 1988 he was named Member of Honour by the World Conservation Union and chaired the General Assembly of the World Heritage Convention. He was awarded the Redmond Barry Award by the Australian Library & Information Association in 1994 in recognition of his outstanding service to cultural institutions. In 1995, both Gough and his wife Margaret were part of the team bidding for Sydney to host the 2000 Olympics.
Since 2000 he had been involved in the development of the Whitlam Institute at the University of Western Sydney, who hold his papers from his public life. He is the author of numerous publications dealing with government and the law including The Truth of the Matter (1979), The Whitlam Government 1972-1975 (1985) and Abiding Interests (1997).
The Hon. Edward Gough Whitlam died 21 October 2014.
The biographical information is referenced from the National Archives of Australia web resource Australia’s Prime Ministers.