It's time skivvy
A rallying cry: ‘It’s time’.
Emblazoned with the now-famous declaration ‘It’s time’, this skivvy is from the Australian Labor Party’s successful 1972 election campaign. The slogan is inextricably linked with ALP leader Gough Whitlam, who led the party to victory after 23 years of Liberal and Country Party coalition government.
The ‘It’s time’ campaign was conceived by Paul Jones, creative director at Sydney advertising agency Hansen-Rubensohn-McCann-Erickson. It included a catchy song with backing vocals by well-known celebrities, television and radio advertising and a distinctive look for banners, posters, press advertisements, badges and clothing. Earlier in 1972, the same slogan had been successfully used by New Zealand’s Labour Party.
The campaign became one of the most successful attempts at public persuasion in Australian history, with the phrase ‘It’s time’ remaining synonymous with the party and Whitlam for decades. Whitlam’s vision for change and equality was broad: equality of race, gender, wealth and opportunities. Once in government, Whitlam implemented a wide range of reforms to address discrimination in education, women’s rights, health care and the rights of Indigenous peoples.
Gough Whitlam poses in an It’s Time shirt with singer Pattie Amphlett, one of the many celebrities endorsing the Labor campaign of 1972. Credit: Graeme Fletcher/Newspix
Booth workers in orange-coloured hats hand out party literature during the election period, 1972. Credit: National Archives of Australia A8746, KN24/1/73/26