In conversation with Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston

ANU/The Canberra Times Meet the Author series

 

Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston will be in conversation on their new book, The Truth of the Palace Letters: Deceit, Ambush and Dismissal in 1975, a conversation moderated by Michelle Grattan. 

In July 2020 the National Archives of Australia released the long-suppressed correspondence between Sir John Kerr and Queen Elizabeth II, written during Kerr's tumultuous tenure as Governor-General of Australia. The letters cover the constitutional crisis that culminated in Kerr's infamous dismissal of Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.

In The Truth of the Palace Letters Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston reveal their meaning and significance for understanding the dismissal. The analysis of these documents and their authors throws a revealing light on the connection between the Queen in Buckingham Palace and the Governor-General in Canberra. Coupled with newly discovered archival documents and interviews, Kelly and Bramston explain the implications of the letters for our Constitution, our democracy and the republic debate.

Paul Kelly is The Australian newspaper's Editor at Large. He is the author of nine books on Australian politics and history including the influential The End of Certainty: Power, Politics and Business in Australia (1992) and Triumph & Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation (2014), his account of the Rudd-Gillard era. Present at Parliament House in Canberra on the day of the Dismissal, Kelly has covered this controversy ever since and has written several books on the subject, most recently The Dismissal: In the Queen's Name (2015) with Troy Bramston.

Troy Bramston is a senior writer and columnist with The Australian. He is the author or editor of nine books, including Paul Keating: The Big-picture Leader (2016), which was a finalist for the Walkley Award and shortlisted for the National Biography Award; Robert Menzies: The Art of Politics (2019); and Rudd, Gillard and Beyond (2014). Bramston has interviewed most of the key players in the dismissal and has made a number of significant archival discoveries about the event.

Michelle Grattan AO is one of Australia's most respected political journalists and a former editor of the Canberra Times. Michelle currently has a dual role, as Professorial Fellow at the University of Canberra and as Chief Political Correspondent at The Conversation.

Important information:

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, registration for this event is essential and social distancing must be adhered to. Please bring photo ID for admission.

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop and purchases can be made on the evening.