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The Life And Times Of Gough Whitlam Celebrated At Memorial Service

Australians come together to farewell the 21st Prime Minister.

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Thousands of people including all seven living prime ministers have converged on Sydney's Town Hall to celebrate the life of the late Gough Whitlam

Paul Miller / AAP

The 21st Prime Minister of Australia died last month aged 98. He is widely considered as one of Australia's most transformative prime ministers.

ABC News

The Town Hall was packed with supporters who vocally applauded Labor politicians who entered.

ABC News 24

And there were loud boos for Liberal Prime Minister John Howard as he entered the hall.

UPDATE 1140 AEST: ABC Four Corners host and former Whitlam staffer Kerry O'Brien opened the memorial with a joke about choosing the Town Hall: "His first choice was to have a funeral pyre in the Senate… to take Upper House with him."

ABC News 24

UPDATE 1105 AEST: Former Prime Minister Hawke approached Prime Minister Abbott for a quick chat.

Current Labor MPs arrived to meet and greet the gathered crowd outside the Town Hall.

Quite a few Labor pollies mingling with the hoi polloi in the square while the Libs cower inside. #WhitlamMemorial

Paul Kidd@paulkiddFollow

Quite a few Labor pollies mingling with the hoi polloi in the square while the Libs cower inside. #WhitlamMemorial

10:17 AM - 05 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

.@AlboMP and Carmel Tebbutt arriving at Town Hall for Gough Whitlam's memorial service. Photo by @John__Donegan

702 ABC Sydney@702sydneyFollow

.@AlboMP and Carmel Tebbutt arriving at Town Hall for Gough Whitlam's memorial service. Photo by @John__Donegan

10:09 AM - 05 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Jimmy Wavehill from Wavehill Station embraced NT Labor Senator Warren Snowden. Mr Wavehill is one of several Gurindji elders to have travelled from remote Kalkaringi in the Northern Territory to pay his respects.

Dan Himbrechts / AAP

Mr Wavehill was there at Wavehill Station in 1975 when Mr Whitlam handed back control of the Aboriginal land to Vincent Lingiari and his family. It's widely considered one of the turning points of the Land Right Movement in Australia.

ABC journalist Kerry O'Brien, Cate Blanchett, Noel Pearson and Mr Whitlam's son Anthony Whitlam will all speak at the service.

Order of Service. #WhitlamMemorial

Organisational issues have plagued the morning. There are several reports of public attendees not being allowed into the Town Hall, despite registering weeks ago.

Confusion at Sydney Town Hall as people are being turned away from the Whitlam Memorial. They thought they had confirmed registration.

702 ABC Sydney@702sydneyFollow

Confusion at Sydney Town Hall as people are being turned away from the Whitlam Memorial. They thought they had confirmed registration.

8:39 AM - 05 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite