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Robert James Lee Hawke AC GCL

Victor P Taffa

Labor’s longest serving Prime Minister Bob Hawke has died aged 89 years.

Bob Hawke was born on 9 December 1929 in Bordertown, South Australia.

Bob Hawke moved to Western Australia as a child. He attended the University of Western Australia and then went on to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

ACTU Leadership

Bob Hawke joined the ACTU in 1956 as a research officer. After Bob Hawke began work at the ACTU, he became responsible for the presentation of its annual case for higher wages to the national wages’ tribunal, the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. He was first appointed as an ACTU advocate in 1959.

Having risen to become responsible for wage arbitration, he was elected ACTU President in 1969 on a modernising platform by the narrow margin of 399 to 350, where he achieved a high public profile.

Federal Parliament

Bob Hawke’s first attempt to enter Parliament came during the 1963 Federal Election in the seat of Corio in Geelong. He managed to achieve a 3.1% swing, although he fell short of ousting Liberal incumbent and Cycling Champion Hubert Opperman.

Bob Hawke was elected to the House of Representatives as the Labor MP for Wills at the 1980 Federal Election.

Bob Hawke’s decade long role as ACTU President had him marked for higher office.

Labor Leader Bill Hayden called a leadership ballot for 16 July 1982. Bill Hayden announced his resignation as Leader of the Labor Party to the caucus on 3 February 1983.

Bob Hawke was subsequently named as leader and became Leader of the Opposition from a party room ballot at which he was elected unopposed.

On the same day Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser called an Election for 5 March 1983.

Drovers Dog

Bill Hayden commented on the 1983 Federal Election by saying that “A Drover’s Dog could have won the election.”

Bob Hawke led Labor to a landslide victory in 1983 and followed that up with election victories in 1984, 1987 and 1990.

Paul Keating became Bob Hawke’s Treasurer. Initially Bob Hawke and Paul Keating were a formidable political duo.

However, after a while Paul Keating got sick of playing second fiddle to Bob Hawke.

In June 1991, Paul Keating contested the leadership. Paul Keating resigned from Cabinet and mounted a second leadership challenge at the end of 1991

Bob Hawke remains as Labor’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

  • Member of Federal Parliament for Wills 1980-92
  • Leader of the Labor Party 1983-91
  • Leader of the Opposition 1983
  • Prime Minister of Australia 1983-91

Bob Hawke died on 16 May 2019, aged 89 years.

VIC Premier Daniel Andrews

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk









Statement On Bob Hawke By Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews

More than any other, Bob Hawke was the people’s Prime Minister. Australians saw themselves in him, and he saw himself in us.

The son of a school teacher and a minister, he grew up in the most ordinary of circumstance. Yet that boy from Bordertown would leave us with the most extraordinary legacy.

In the coming days, that legacy will be remembered in a multitude of different ways.

Rhode Scholar. Yard Drinker.

Staunch Unionist. Member for Wills. Labor’s longest serving Prime Minister.

For so many in our movement, he was and will always be the father of Medicare. The man who made sure that most fundamental right healthcare was afforded to every Australian.

The man who created the foundation of fairness on which our modern nation was built.

In his last act of public life, Bob wrote an open letter to the people of Australia.

In it, he urged us to not only protect his legacy, but to continue pushing for that fairer future.

In Bob’s name, we will. Solidarity forever.


Statement On Bob Hawke By Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk

Bob Hawke was a genuine man of the people.

It didn’t matter who you were, where you lived or what you did, Bob treated everyone the same.

I first met him when I was in school and he treated me exactly the same as he did many years later when I became Premier.

I’ll treasure the memory of being with Bob on Labour Day in the birthplace of the Labor Party in Barcaldine.

Bob was too unwell to march and was pushed in his wheelchair. When the march came to its end at the showgrounds, I’ll never forget the way Bob got out of that chair, walked onstage and addressed the crowd. He was such a magnificent and inspirational speaker.

In that same, strong, clear voice so familiar to us, he sang Solidarity Forever.

Bob fought fiercely for things, not against them.

He called it consensus. I describe it as working best when we work together.

Bob loved the Woodford Folk Festival and its celebration of ideas. He told me to look after it and I will. Then we said goodbye.

I didn’t realise it would be for the last time.

“I don’t think I’ll be back.” Bob said.

Then this man who I had respected and admired for almost my entire life looked at me and smiled.

“Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

Loss we feel is a measure of how much he meant to all of us.

Hazel Hawke








Hazel Hawke AO

Hazel Susan Hawke, AO (née Masterson, 20 July 1929– 23 May 2013) was the first wife of Bob Hawke, the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia.

Hazel married Bob on 3 March 1956, and supported him throughout his prime ministership (1983–1991); they divorced in 1995.

Hazel worked in social policy areas, and was an amateur pianist and a patron of the arts. After Hazel was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, Hazel made public appearances in order to raise awareness of the disease.

During their marriage, Bob Hawke had an affair with Blanche d’Alpuget in the 1970’s.

In June 2001 Hazel was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.


Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies

Australia’s second longest serving Prime Minister John Howard









Prime Ministers Since 1 January 1901

6 Colonial Governments agreed to form a Federation of States as the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901.

People who have held the office of Prime Minister of Australia since the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901 is as follows:

Prime Minister                      Party                           Term Of Office

Scott Morrison                        Liberal                         24 August 2018-Present

Malcolm Turnbull                   Liberal                         14 Sept. 2015-24 August 2018

Tony Abbott                           Liberal                         7 Sept. 2013-14 Sept. 2015

Kevin Rudd                            Labor                           27 June 2013-18 Sept. 2013

Julia Gillard                            Labor                           24 June 2010-27 June 2013

Kevin Rudd                            Labor                           3 Dec. 2007-24 June 2010

John Howard                           Liberal                         2 March 1996-24 Nov. 2007

Paul Keating                           Labor                           19 Dec. 1991-2 March 1996

Bob Hawke                             Labor                           5 March 1983-19 Dec. 1991

Malcolm Fraser                       Liberal                         11 Nov. 1975-5 March 1983

Gough Whitlam                      Labor                           5 Dec. 1972-11 Nov. 1975

William McMahon                 Liberal                         10 March 1971-5 Dec. 1972

John Gorton                            Liberal                         10 Jan. 1968-10 March 1971

John McEwen                         Country                       19 Dec. 1967-10 Jan. 1968

Harold Holt                             Liberal                         26 Jan. 1966-19 Dec. 1967*

Robert Menzies                       Liberal                         19 Dec. 1949-26 Jan. 1966**

Ben Chifley                             Labor                           13 July 1945-19 Dec. 1949

Francis Forde                          Labor                           5 July 1945-13 July 1945

John Curtin                             Labor                           7 Oct. 1941-5 July 1945*

Arthur Fadden                        Country                       29 Aug. 1941-7 Oct. 1941

Robert Menzies                       United Australia          26 April 1939-29 Aug. 1941

Sir Earle Page                         Country                       7 April 1939-26 April 1939

Joseph Lyons                          United Australia          6 Jan. 1932-7 April 1939

James Scullin                          Labor                           22 Oct. 1929- 6 Jan. 1932

Stanley Melbourne Bruce       Nationalist                   9 Feb. 1923-22 Oct. 1929

William Morris Hughes          Nationalist                   17 Feb. 1917-9 Feb. 1923

William Morris Hughes          National Labor            14 Nov. 1916-17 Feb. 1917

William Morris Hughes          Labor                           27 Oct. 1915-14 Nov. 1916

Andrew Fisher                        Labor                           7 Sept. 1914-27 Oct. 1915

Joseph Cook                            Liberal                         24 June 1913-7 Sept. 1914

Andrew Fisher                        Labor                           29 April 1910-24 June 1913

Alfred Deakin                         Fushion                       2 June 1909-29 April 1910

Andrew Fisher                        Labor                           13 Nov. 1908-2 June 1909

Alfred Deakin                         Liberal                         5 July 1905-13 Nov. 1908

George Reid                            Free Trade                   18 Aug.- 5 July 1905

Chris Watson                          Labor                           27 April 1904-18 Aug. 1904

Alfred Deakin                           Protectionist                24 Sept. 1903-27 April 1904

Edmund Barton                       Protectionist                1 Jan. 1901-24 Sept. 1903

Prime Ministers Who Have Held More Than 1 Term Of Office:

Prime Minister                      Party                           Term Of Office

Kevin Rudd                            Labor                           26 June 2013-7 Sept. 2013

Kevin Rudd                            Labor                           24 Nov. 2007-24 June 2010

Robert Menzies                       Liberal                         19 Dec. 1949-26 Jan. 1966**

Robert Menzies                       United Australia          26 April 1939-29 Aug. 1941

William Morris Hughes          Nationalist                   17 Feb. 1917-9 Feb. 1923

William Morris Hughes          National Labor            14 Nov. 1916-17 Feb. 1917

William Morris Hughes          Labor                           27 Oct. 1915-14 Nov. 1916

Andrew Fisher                        Labor                           7 Sept. 1914-27 Oct. 1915

Andrew Fisher                        Labor                           29 April 1910-24 June 1913

Andrew Fisher                        Labor                           13 Nov. 1908-2 June 1909

Alfred Deakin                         Fushion                       2 June 1909-29 April 1910

Alfred Deakin                         Liberal                         5 July 1905-13 Nov. 1908

Alfred Deakin                        Protectionist                24 Sept. 1903-27 April 1904

*Died in Office

** Formed current Liberal Party in 1944 and longest serving Prime Minister


AC                  Order of Australia

AO                  Officer of the Order of Australia

GCL                Order of Logohu

ACTU             Australian Council of Trade Unions


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