Tributes are flowing within Australia and around the world for former Australian prime minister, Gough Whitlam who passed away today, aged 98.
As Australia's 21st prime minister, Mr Whitlam was both praised and criticised for the way that he bravely and boldly changed Australia during his three years in power before being sensationally dismissed from office by then Governor-General Sir John Kerr in 1975.
Among his many historical achievements include the introduction of Medicare, the abolition of university tuition fees, the establishment of diplomatic relations with China (now Australia's largest trading partner) and of course his significant contribution to multiculturalism in Australia.
The Whitlam Government was the first to adopt the concept of a multicultural Australian society. Mr Whitlam removed the last vestiges of the White Australia policy, and the concept of a multicultural Australian society became government policy for the first time. The government established multicultural radio stations and telephone translation services, and provided special educational support for migrant children.
The Whitlam government also passed the Racial Discrimination Act. It made it illegal to discriminate against people because of their origin in the the areas of access to employment, pay and working conditions, and access to housing.
Vale Gough Whitlam, rest in peace.