I had the very great pleasure and privilege of knowing Gough Whitlam well.
He was a giant amongst men and one of our greatest Prime Ministers and party leaders.
Gough was a visionary, reformer, performer, humanitarian, lawyer and war veteran.
He possessed a wit like no one else Ive met.
His achievements are too many to list but universal health care, affordable tertiary education and Aboriginal land rights are amongst his greatest legacies.
So too was his reform of the Labor Party he made it electable after a long spell in the wilderness.
In conversations with him in more recent years, Gough was always more interested in seeking re-assurance from me that I was giving myself the greatest chance to be the best politician I could possibly be than talking about his own interests or legacy.
Australia is a better place for the life of Gough Whitlam and his great partnership with Margaret.
He had a great innings and a great life. I extend my sympathies to his family and in particular, my mate Nick.