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Margaret Whitlam biography launched -

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Reporter: John Stewart

Margaret Whitlam, the wife of former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, has launched her
biography in Sydney.


TONY JONES: Margaret Whitlam, the wife of the former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam,
tonight celebrated the release of her biography at a gathering in Sydney. The book was launched by
comedians Kath and Kim who say they've a lot in common with Prime Minister's wives.

JOHN STEWART: From Bondi Beach girl to mother of four, social worker and Prime Minister's wife,
Margaret Whitlam has seen a lot in her 86 years.

KATH: Hello, Margaret.

JOHN STEWART: Tonight, her biography was launched by some fans who say they know what it is like to
live in the Lodge.

KATH: Seriously, look, we are majorly chuffed to have been invited here tonight. Wow. In front of
so many pollies and journos and other extinguished guests.

KIM: Yeah, I don't recognise anyone. Is there anyone from 'Big Brother' here? No.

JOHN STEWART: Margaret Whitlam is known for her razor-sharp wit and tonight was no different. After
years of watching and supporting the feminist movement in Australia she had this to say about
gender in the lucky country.

MARGARET WHITLAM: Men may have many faults, but women only two - everything they say and everything
they do.

JOHN STEWART: Margaret Dovey was a champion breaststroker and represented Australia at the Empire
Games in 1938. Four years later during the World War II she married Gough Whitlam.

SUSAN MITCHELL, BIOGRAPHER: Believe it or not, he couldn't spell his name when she first met him.
She worked that out. It was a hot, steamy December night. Across a crowded room she saw this
fantastic looking hunk of spunk.

JOHN STEWART: Her husband also had other admirers.

KATH: Of course Margaret attended Specific Drive Primary School, where Kim and I both went.

KIM: That's right. So we all have the same roots.

KATH: That's right. Hi, Gough. Remember that, 1979, Travelodge. Push my buttons.

JOHN STEWART: Most people know about her husband's famous dismissal by the Governor-General.

GOUGH WHITLAM: Nothing will save the Governor-General.

JOHN STEWART: But many people don't know that Margaret Whitlam worked as a social worker in a
public hospital.

NICK WHITLAM: She was the social worker at Parramatta hospital. Not one of the social workers, but
the social worker at the hospital when Gough was Deputy Leader of the Opposition at the time

JOHN STEWART: Her marriage to Gough Whitlam is now in its 64th year.

TONY WHITLAM: They spend an awful lot of time in each other's company and I think my mother could
probably survive without my father, but my father couldn't survive without her.

JOHN STEWART: Margaret Whitlam says at 86 she doesn't have all of the answers and doesn't expect
to. The events of 1975 are now just another chapter in an extraordinary life.

MARGARET WHITLAM: You read the book and you will see.