THE QUALITY OF LIFE - extract from Gough Whitlam’s 1972 Election Policy Speech
“There is no greater social problem facing Australia than the good use of expanding leisure. It is the problem of all modern and wealthy communities. It is, above all, the problem of urban societies and thus, in Australia, the most urbanised nation on earth, a problem more pressing for us than for any other nation on earth. For such a nation as ours, this may very well be the problem of the 1980’s; so we must prepare now; prepare the generation of the ’80s – the children and youth of the ’70s – to be able to enjoy and enrich their growing hours of leisure.”
Thus began the development of Australia’s recreation profession – not the first country in the world to do so, as it was well established in the USA and elsewhere at that time. But Gough Whitlam’s 1972 election statement was a significant watershed for developing the modern leisure, recreation and sporting industry in Australia, not to mention the recreational enjoyment of parks, the arts and cultural services.
Australians of all ages and from all walks of life, from the Olympic sportsperson to the local walking club member are now benefiting from the work of thousands of trained recreation planners and developers. How much their efforts are helping to sustain and improve the mental and physical health and wellbeing of millions of Australians is now becoming increasingly accepted and valued.
Yes this is a personal matter to me…I was in the first group to graduate in 1976 from the Graduate Diploma in Recreation Planning established at the then Canberra CAE by the Whitlam Government. It gave me the professional training to structure my life’s passion of promoting the many personal growth and life-expanding benefits of expressing one's natural talents through a passionate leisure interest.
You can get an idea of what I mean by browsing my current business website atwww.australiaspeoplegardener.com.au
Thank you Gough Whitlam. May you rest in peace.
Written on the occasion of the passing of Gough Whitlam Prime Minister of Australia - from1972 to 1975 today at the age of 98.