First came The Whitlams with memorable tunes like No Aphrodisiac and Gough. Now you can own a your own little piece of Whitlam, ACT.
The ACT Place Names Committee has unanimously agreed to name a new suburb in Molonglo after Gough Whitlam, and just over a year after the 21st prime minister’s death, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced that residents will begin moving into Whitlam within five years.
“I am delighted that the Nation’s Capital will commemorate one of Australia’s outstanding Prime Ministers, the Honourable Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC in the naming of Canberra’s newest suburb,” Mr Barr said.
“Gough Whitlam’s contribution to Australia was huge, he changed our nation forever, and I am pleased our city can mark his legacy in this way.”
The new suburb isn’t alone in being named after the late great PM. Sydney band the Whitlams have been cashing in on its kudos since 1992. Lead singer of the Whitlams Tim Freedman loved bands with family names, like the Smiths.
“I thought, the Whitlams, no one’s done that. I’ll be able to steal all the goodwill that Australia holds in reserve for Gough Whitlam,” he told Bernard Zuel at The Sydney Morning Herald in 2000.
The second single from The Whitlams debut album was a tribute to Whitlam entitled Gough.
The suburb of Whitlam will be part of the Molonglo Valley Stage 3 subdivision, and have views to the Molonglo River and the Brindabella Ranges.
Whitlam was a 10-year-old when his father was transferred to the new Federal capital in 1926. The family lived in Forrest and Gough attended nearby Telopea Park Intermediate High School. He was editor of the school magazine, the Telopea.
The PM-to-be completed the leaving certificate in 1931 but at 15 was considered too young to go to university. He attended Canberra Grammar School to further his grounding in the classics by studying Ancient Greek, enrolling at the University of Sydney in 1935.
Minister for Planning Mick Gentleman said Whitlam had in 2010 given the ACT Place Names Committee his personal permission for his name to be commemorated as a suburb name in the ACT.
“Gough was a great man, and a great political activist who, along with his wife Margaret achieved great outcomes for Australians that we are still thankful for today,” Mr Gentleman said.
“Gough Whitlam passed away on 21 October 2014 and the subsequent decision to name the Canberra suburb has been welcomed by his family.
“Under the current indicative land release program, the first release of 500 dwellings in Whitlam will commence in 2018-19 with occupancy expected the following year.”