This period begins with an ending, because 1975 marks the demise of a brief spurt of social exuberance unique in cultural and political history not just in Australia, but globally. In the late 1960s and early 1970s in Australia, a new set of values was beginning to push for recognition. These included freedom of artistic expression, sexual liberation and openness, concern for oppressed peoples, and feminism. For the first time, students were dropping out of university, gays coming out of the closet, and middle-aged professionals selling up and starting communes. The heady defiance of the 1970 Vietnam Moratorium marches, and even the (re-)emergence under Gorton of an Australian film industry a couple of years earlier, were signs of cultural pressure building up. The election of the Whitlam Government in 1972 released this pent up cultural energy, and thus the Whitlam years facilitated creative freedom and cultural experimentation as well as progressive social liberal politics. Those who either cherish or revile memories of the Whitlam Government often confuse the cultural explosion, which ended worldwide in the mid-1970s, with the political and economic realities.
What Were They Thinking? : The Politics of Ideas in Australia p. 133-173