Allam, Lorena, et al: 1973 Human Relationships Royal Commission

Allam, Lorena, et al

Public intimacies: The Royal Commission on Human Relationships‘, ABC Radio National, 28 April 2013

ABC program (audio only) discussing the work of a ground-breaking 1970s inquiry, presented by Lorena Allam, produced by Professor Michelle Arrow and including contributions from members and staff of the Commission, as well as activists.

The 1970s was a time of social and cultural transformation in Australia. The rise of women’s liberation, gay liberation, and the so-called permissive society meant that the line between private behaviour and public life was beginning to break down. There was a new willingness to speak up about experiences of discrimination, and new urgency to push for change, especially to laws around homosexuality and abortion.

The Whitlam government was full of reforming zeal when it was elected in late 1972. But while it couldn’t change the laws around abortion, it did create something much more complex: a Royal Commission on Human Relationships. This inquiry into family and intimate life would go on to provoke fierce outrage and resistance. But it opened up conversations about private life that we’re still having today. (blurb)

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