Performers often joke that if you remember the 1960s you weren't there, but if you remember Australia in the 1970s you'll remember the ALP's ''It's Time'' campaign. ''It's Time'' encapsulated the mood of the era - even among non-Labor voters.
Forty years ago on Tuesday, Gough Whitlam made his policy launch in Sydney's western suburbs. The Bowman Hall in the Blacktown Civic Centre was packed to capacity and there were thousands more outside.
It's Time: the story of Gough's song
Little Pattie remembers the famous Gough Whitlam ALP It's Time campaign of 1972.
From the opening, ''Men and women of Australia'', to the close, ''I do not for a moment believe that we should set limits on what we can achieve, together, for our country, our people, our future'', I was captivated.
I felt it was time to build an Australian cultural identity. As a pop singer through the 1960s and as an activist in my union, Actors' Equity, I knew the challenges facing those of us who were trying to build an independent and popular Australian culture.
This was an Australia involved in a war in Vietnam with no end in sight, there was no free tertiary education, healthcare or social welfare and indigenous affairs, women's rights and equal opportunity were virtually non-existent.
I was born in 1949, the same year Robert Menzies came to power for the second time, and we had conservative governments all my life until Whitlam. It felt like we'd been suppressing our discontent for so long, the balloon was about to burst.
We wanted change, real change. As performers, we were as keen as our audiences to embrace our own culture, whether it was a David Williamson play or a Billy Thorpe concert.
Until then, Australian governments saw the arts as the preserve of the elite. As artists, we wanted to be part of a forward thinking, dynamic society, one that cared about all of its people. So we decided it was time for all of that. Fortunately we had a politician in Whitlam who was leading the way.
Paul Jones, the creative director of the advertising agency Hansen Rubensohn McCann Erickson, conceived the ''It's Time'' slogan. He then wrote the song - certainly the catchiest of any Australian political campaign - with advertising jingle writer Mike Shirley. Pat Aulton, at the time Australia's leading pop arranger and producer, arranged it. They wanted it to sound like a hit record.
I felt honoured to be asked to sing it along with a who's who of the Australian performing arts of the early 1970s: Bobby Limb, Col Joye, Bert Newton, Jack Thompson, Judy Stone, Lynette Curran, Jimmy Hannan, Chuck Faulkner, Kevin Sanders and many more.
The future minister for the media, senator Doug McClelland, was responsible for securing our co-operation. To this day, I affectionately refer to him as ''the kelpie'' because he rounded us all together at the Hordern Pavilion one day in early spring.
Soul singer Alison McCallum, whose hit single Superman had been No.2 on the Australian charts that year, led us.
I can still picture us in the fashions of the time - the men in their polo necks and lots of velvet jackets for the women - swaying side to side to the tune. The Hordern Pavilion can be a bit of a tin shed for a performers but the atmosphere that day was electric.
There were so many of us that, when we were all singing, we couldn't hear the foundation track, which McCallum had laid down earlier at ATA Studios on Glebe Point Road. Joye had to jump up on a couple of chairs and conduct us through the song.
I sang with all my heart.
The ''It's Time'' commercial was far more effective than anyone could have imagined. Long before Live Aid, it came as a shock to some people that popular personalities would stand up publicly and be counted for a cause.
At the Blacktown campaign launch, we weren't disappointed. Our television commercial was played that night but it had already been aired on television throughout the nation by then.
Whitlam outlined a policy for the arts, a coherent one, which stressed the contribution and the value of the arts in society. In government, he supported and developed cultural activity throughout the whole community with a broad range of programs that continue to shape our culture today.
For me, these were exhilarating times. We had said goodbye to stifling conservatism and inward looking narrowness.
I know how lucky I am to have come to know Whitlam. There's a photo of us both in ''It's Time'' T-shirts, which is now in high school history books. I don't see him very often but when I do, he is the same big, warm, feisty, great man I saw all those years ago at the Blacktown Civic Centre.
Tomorrow night, four decades to the day, there will be an anniversary celebration of the speech that changed the nation at Blacktown.
And I'll be singing ''It's Time'' again with a new generation of talented vocal students from the Campbelltown Performing Arts High School. These fine proud voices of western Sydney are Whitlam's true legacy.
Performer Patricia Amphlett (Little Pattie) is the federal president of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.