God gives you only the beginning and the end: Writing the life of Don Dunstan – Lecture and book launch

The History Trust of South Australia and the Centre of Democracy invite you to celebrate the launch of

Don Dunstan: The visionary politician who changed Australia


The launch will begin with a speech by Senator Penny Wong.

Following this, Professor Angela Woollacott will present August’s Talking History lecture

God only gives you the beginning and the end: Writing Don Dunstan – The visionary politician who changed Australia


Don Dunstan, South Australia’s trail-blazing Premier from 1967-68 and 1970-79, was one of the most significant political figures of 20th century Australia. Dunstan’s life story helps us to appreciate just what a watershed era the 1960s and 1970s were in Australia, and how, for a time, South Australia led the nation. Dunstan fought for decades against the entrenched gerrymander, ending conservative rule and introducing his vision of social democracy in one state. Dunstan captured the mood for reform, and led the way politically.

Professor Angela Woollacott will reflect on the challenges of researching and writing the first comprehensive biography of Dunstan. She will suggest how much a biography has to offer, such as showing how growing up in racially-stratified colonial Fiji shaped his strong sense of racial justice, and his drive for policy and legislative reform, including prohibiting racial discrimination, and pioneering Aboriginal land rights. She will share some things that surprised her, recount curious moments during the research, and underscore the aspects of Dunstan’s career and political philosophy that can instruct and inspire us today.

Tuesday 20 August, doors open at 5.30pm for a 6pm start. Book launch and lecture will commence at 6pm.

Drill Hall, Torrens Parade Ground, Victoria Drive, Adelaide.
Parking available on Torrens Parade Ground, off Victoria Drive. Light refreshments provided before the lecture. Angela’s book will be available for sale on the night.

This free public lecture is part of the History Trust’s Talking History series, co-hosted by the Centre of Democracy.

20 Aug 2019
5.30pm for a 6pm start


History Trust of South Australia
Drill Hall
Torrens Parade Ground
Victoria Drive
Adelaide SA 5000



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