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Crossing the Line: Richard Casey Re-Visited



Sir John Kerr's dismissal of the Whitlam government ensured that he became Australia's most controversial Governor-General and the one seen to have taken vice-regal powers to their limit. While this is understandable, Kerr's notoriety has obscured a wider appreciation of the significant activism and even intrusiveness which characterised Richard Casey's 1965–1969 term as Governor-General. This article draws on Casey's extensive diaries to paint a broader picture of the man and to examine his activist view of the role. Casey's version of the vice-regal role is almost certainly at the extreme end of any Australian vice-regal activity spectrum, and is consistent with patterns in his overall career.