"The greatest speechwriter this country has produced." Laurie Oakes, Daily Telegraph

2018 Ruth Cullen | GoGo Yolt P/L

 Graham Freudenberg 

Graham has written over 1000 political speeches in his career spanning more than 50 years.  Known as Australia’s first professional political speechwriter he is revered across both sides of parliament. 

 

He has been described as the “Donald Bradman” of speechwriting, Bob Hawke called him the “chameleon”.  

 

During the Whitlam years Graham was known as Whitlam’s ghost and they remained extremely close until Whitlam’s death in 2014.

 

Throughout the various slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Graham has remained in the engine of government, observing, influencing, and writing. 

 

Finally the scribe becomes the orator.

A Selection of Speeches by Graham Freudenberg

IT’S TIME  | 1972 ALP Policy Launch

 

Gough Whitlam outlines his blueprint for government in this speech that changed the nation. 

“Whitlam was always the driving force but in this case you could say I was the midwife.” 

Graham Freudenberg, The Scribe.

BOB HAWKE'S SPEECH  | 75th Anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, Lone Pine  |  25 April,  1990

Bob Hawke described this speech as “remarkable”.  Graham considers it to be the closest he could get to Gettysberg, the renowned speech by Abraham Lincoln.

 

“What we were anxious to convey then mainly was that ANZAC day,  if it’s to mean anything,  must be inclusive. And the present interpretation of ANZAC day tends to be very exclusive, and this has always worried me. And it worried Bob Hawke.” 

Graham Freudenberg, The Scribe.

THE DRUMBEAT SPEECH  | 4 May, 1965

 

This was Arthur Calwell’s response in parliament  to Prime Minister Robert Menzie’s announcement that a battalion of (combat) troops would be sent to Vietnam.  Graham was 31 when he wrote this speech and he considers it to be one of his most important.

“Freudenberg wrote the great one, and that was the speech, in the parliament, making the case against Australia entering the Vietnam war.”  Bob Carr, (Former) Minister for Foreign Affairs.

WHITLAM'S SPEECH  | Victorian State ALP Conference  | 9 June, 1967

One of Gough Whitlam’s priorities after he replaced Arthur Calwell as  leader of the ALP was reform within the ALP itself.  This fighting speech was a declaration of his intention to do just that.

“Some times the weapon is the speech” 

Graham Freudenberg.

Key Influential Speeches Written By Others

THE GETTYSBERG ADDRESS  | Abraham Lincoln  | 19 November, 1863

This speech was delivered at Gettysberg cemetery.  It was a moral boosting speech aimed at disillusioned Union soldiers. Lincoln urged them to keep defending the Union by reminding them of the values on which it had been  founded.

HAMLET,  ACT III, SCENE I  | TO BE, OR NOT TO BE  | William Shakespeare  | 1564 - 1616 .  

In this most famous of Hamlet’s soliloquies Hamlet ponders on the cardinal sin of suicide. 

“We think as we do to a very large extent because of Shakespeare...whether we know it or not, we don’t really know it. But take a thing like “to be or not to be”, the soliloquy, basically justifying suicide and he does it so brilliantly, but even so casually. This is... this is genius, this is writing.”  Graham Freudenberg, The Scribe.