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Sir John Kerr Speech Extract

This is a brief extract from a speech given by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, in September 1976.

I cannot date the speech accurately, although my records indicate it was September 1976. The group Kerr was speaking to, and the venue, are not known.

The time was ten months after the Dismissal, at a time when Kerr’s public appearances were beset by protests and jeering.

  • Listen to Kerr (2m)

Sir John Kerr Opens The 30th Parliament

In the wake of the Whitlam Dismissal, Labor members boycotted the Governor-General’s speech opening the 30th Parliament.

Sir John Kerr addressed a half-empty Senate chamber when he read the speech prepared for him by the Fraser government.

  • Listen to Kerr’s speech (8m – first part only)

Governor-General Sir John Kerr’s speech opening the 30th Parliament.

Senators, Members of the House of Representatives:

We assemble at a time when large areas of New South Wales and Queensland are being devastated by severe flooding. It is a terrible experience for those affected and my Government expresses its deepest concern for their plight. The Government is consulting with the States in taking action to ensure that all proper assistance is available. The Natural Disasters Organisation is operating smoothly. [Read more…]

The 1975 Constitutional Crisis: Audio Clips

The constitutional crisis of 1975 ranks as the single most dramatic political event in the history of the Australian federation.

The audio clips on this page represent a sample of events between October 15, 1975 and November 11, 1975. They begin with Liberal Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser’s announcement that the coalition will block Supply in the Senate, and end with the Dismissal of the Whitlam government by Governor-General Sir John Kerr.

These clips also appear on the companion website,, but accompanied by more information, documents, analysis and contemporary media coverage. [Read more…]