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Documentary Australia Foundation

The Search For The Palace Letters

The Search For The Palace Letters

This film follows historian Professor Jenny Hocking as she fights a David and Goliath battle against the Australian Government and the British Royal Family i...

australia > ALL
18/11/2021 > 24/11/2022


  • Strengthening Democracy
  • Civic engagement & leadership


  • General population


This film follows historian Professor Jenny Hocking as she fights a David and Goliath battle against the Australian Government and the British Royal Family in a landmark legal action. At stake is whether letters between former Governor General Sir John Kerr and HM Queen Elizabeth, written at the time of the constitutional crisis of 1975, are deemed private correspondence and therefore remain closed, or official documents that should be accessible to the Australian people.

Now running for more than four years, the Palace Letters Case, if successful, will open the secret archives on the Queen’s role in the unprecedented dismissal of the Whitlam Government. This feature length documentary follows the personal struggle and immense legal battle faced by Hocking as she goes all the way to the High Court of Australia, the highest court in the land, in her bid to uncover the last piece of the extraordinary jigsaw that is the 1975 dismissal.

This documentary will provide an opportunity for the Australian public to question their right to access public information and our history in a new way. It invites the people to consider what is being hidden through instruments such as Freedom of Information restrictions and Royal Secrecy.


In the short-term, we hope to raise social awareness on Professor Jenny Hocking's legal campaign and recount her journey battling the Australian legal system. It will also help educate those who are unfamiliar with this period of Australian history.

In the medium-term, we aim for Jenny's effort and struggles in tackling the legal system on her own will inspire others to take on similar challenges, and be proactive about government accountability going forward.

In the long-term, we aim to remind our audience the importance of transparency and public access to critical historical information in a democracy, as well as making sure our history is told with accuracy. This will also prompt awareness of the lasting impact the British monarchy has on our current institution and Australian's remnant of colonialism. By putting more public pressure on the government, we will move closer to true accountability and transparency for the people of Australia.

Profile of Documentary Australia Foundation

Documentary Australia Foundation

Documentary Australia Foundation is a unique not-for-profit that ensures important stories are told and seen, supported by powerful social impact campaigns.

We provide approved projects with access to our DGR status, allowing independent filmmakers to access philanthropic funding and enabling donors to tax effectively support the issues they care about.

Our networks, relationships and expertise allow us to connect talented storytellers with like-minded funders, educators, policy-makers and community groups.

We amplify their impact by helping them to work together and by guiding them on how to use documentaries to further their advocacy and impact goals.

None of this could be achieved without our philanthropic partners. Their generous contributions support the impact these documentaries make.


Funding sourceAmount
Other philanthropic trusts & foundations (unconfirmed)$65,000
Funding gap (unconfirmed)$15,000
Impact campaign and production costs$80,000
Expense itemAmount

Support The Search For The Palace Letters

Got a question about this project or ready to contribute? Contact our Philanthropy & Impact Team.


As a broker of change, we invite social change initiatives to apply for funding. Eligible proposals are shared with our giving community via our Granting Opportunities directory.