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The Honourable
 Bob Hawke
 AC, GCL


In office
11 March 1983 – 20 December 1991
Deputy Lionel Bowen (1983–1990)
Paul Keating (1990–1991)
Brian Howe (1991)
Preceded by Malcolm Fraser
Succeeded by Paul Keating
Constituency Wills

Born 9 December 1929 (1929-12-09) (age 80)
Bordertown, South Australia, Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Occupation Trade unionist
Religion Agnostic (formerly Congregationalist)

Robert James Lee "Bob" Hawke, AC (born 9 December 1929) was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia and longest serving Australian Labor Party Prime Minister.

After a decade as president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, he entered politics at the 1980 election and became Prime Minister within three years. He became by far the longest-serving and most electorally successful Labor Prime Minister, achieving the rare feat of winning four consecutive federal elections. He is Australia's third longest-serving Prime Minister.

Contents

Early life and education

Hawke's memorial at the Turf Tavern for downing a yard of ale (2.5 imperial pints or 1.4 litres) in just 11 seconds in 1963 [sic] while at Oxford Uni, a record at the time, and entered in the Guinness Book of Records. The record was actually set in 1953.

Hawke was born in Bordertown, a small town in South Australia near the Victorian border. His father was a Congregationalist minister; his uncle, Albert Hawke, was Labor Premier of Western Australia between 1953 and 1959 and was a close friend of Labor Prime Minister John Curtin, who was in many ways Bob Hawke's role model. Hawke's mother, Ellie, had an almost messianic belief in her son's destiny[1] and this contributed to his supreme self-confidence throughout his career. Both his parents were of English extraction. While attending the 1952 World Christian Youth Conference, held in Kottayam in southern India, Hawke was struck by "this enormous sense of irrelevance of religion to the needs of the people" and abandoned his Christian beliefs.[2] By the time he entered politics he was a self-described agnostic.[3]

Hawke was raised in Perth and attended Perth Modern School and completed undergraduate degrees in Law and Arts (Economics) at the University of Western Australia. At age 15, he boasted that he would one day become Prime Minister of Australia.[4] He joined the Labor Party in 1947, and successfully applied for a Rhodes Scholarship at the end of 1952.[5][6] In 1953, Hawke went to the University of Oxford to commence a Bachelor of Arts at University College.[7] He soon found he was covering much the same ground as his Bachelor's degree from Perth, and switched to a Bachelor of Letters, with a thesis on wage-fixing in Australia.[8] The thesis was successfully presented in January 1956.[9]

His academic achievements were complemented by setting a new world speed record for beer drinking: a yard glass (approximately 3 imperial pints or 1.7 litres) in eleven seconds.[10] In his memoirs, Hawke suggested that this single feat may have contributed to his political success more than any other, by endearing him to a voting population with a strong beer culture.[11]

In March 1956, Hawke married Hazel Masterson, at Trinity Church, Perth, Western Australia.[12] In the same year, Hawke accepted a scholarship to undertake doctoral studies in the area of arbitration law in the law department of the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra.[13][14] Soon after arrival at ANU, Hawke became the students' representative on the University Council.[15]

In 1957, Hawke was recommended to the ACTU president Albert Monk for the position of ACTU research officer to replace Harold Souter, who had become ACTU secretary. The recommendation was made by Hawke's mentor at ANU, H.P. Brown, who for a number of years had assisted the ACTU in national wage cases. Hawke decided to abandon his doctoral studies and accept the offer. The Hawke family moved to Melbourne.[16]

Trade union leader

Not long after 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 the ACTU advocate in 1959. The 1958 case, under advocate R.L Eggleston, had yielded only a five-shilling increase.[17]The 1959 case found for a fifteen-shilling increase, and was regarded as a personal triumph for Hawke.[18] He went on to attain such success and prominence in his role as ACTU advocate, that in 1969 he was encouraged to run for ACTU President, despite the fact that he had never held elected office in a trade union.

He was elected to the presidency of the ACTU in 1969 on a modernising platform, by a narrow margin (399 to 350)[19]and with the support of the left of the union movement, including some associated with the Communist Party.

Hawke declared publicly that "socialist is not a word I would use to describe myself" and his approach to government was pragmatic. He concerned himself with making improvements to workers' lives from within the traditional institutions of government, rather than to any ideological theory. He opposed the Vietnam war, but was a strong supporter of the US-Australian alliance, and also an emotional supporter of Israel. It was his commitment to the cause of Jewish Refuseniks that led to a planned assassination attempt by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and its Australian operative Munif Mohammed Abou Rish. [20]

In industrial matters, Hawke continued to demonstrate a preference for and considerable skill at negotiation, and was generally liked and respected by employers as well as the unions he advocated for. As early as 1972 speculation began that he would soon enter Parliament and become Labor leader. But while his career continued successfully, his heavy use of alcohol and his notorious womanising[21] placed considerable strains on his family life.

In 1973 Hawke became Federal President of the Labor Party. When the Gough Whitlam government was controversially dismissed by the Governor-General in 1975 and the government defeated at the ensuing election, Whitlam initially offered the Labor leadership to Hawke, although it was not within Whitlam's power to decide who would succeed him.[22] Hawke decided not to enter Parliament at that time, a decision he soon regretted. He was, however, influential in averting national strike action.[23] The strain of this period took its toll, and in 1979 he suffered a physical collapse.

This shock led Hawke to make a sustained and ultimately successful effort to conquer his alcoholismJohn Curtin was his inspiration in this as in other things. He was helped in this by his relationship with the writer Blanche d'Alpuget, who in 1982 published an admiring biography of Hawke. His popularity with the public was unaffected, and polling suggested that he was a far more popular politician than either Bill Hayden, the Labor leader since 1977, or the incumbent Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

Parliamentarian

Hawke initially attempted to enter parliament at the 1963 federal election in the seat of Corio and achieved a 3.1 percent swing against the national trend, but fell short.[24] Later, he was elected to the House of Representatives for the Melbourne seat of Wills at the 1980 election held on 18 October. Immediately upon his entry into Parliament, Hawke was appointed to the Opposition front bench, taking his place as Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Employment and Youth.[25] With the opinion polls indicating that Hawke was 'a certain election winner',[26] Hayden called a leadership ballot for 16 July 1982. Although Hayden defeated the ambitious Hawke, his five vote victory over the former President of the ACTU was not large enough to dispel doubts in caucus that he could lead the ALP to victory at the next election, due sometime in the forthcoming year.[27]

Hayden's leadership was further questioned when Labor performed poorly in a December 1982 by-election for the Victorian seat of Flinders, following the resignation of the former Liberal minister, Sir Phillip Lynch. Labor needed a swing of 5.5% to win the seat, but only achieved 3%.[28] This convinced many doubters within caucus that only Hawke could guarantee a Labor victory at the upcoming election. Labor party power-brokers such as Graham Richardson and Barry Unsworth now lined up behind Hawke.[29] More significantly, Hayden's staunch friend and political ally, Labor senate Leader John Button, eventually became convinced that Hawke's chances of victory were greater than Hayden's. Button's influence was crucial in encouraging Hayden's decision to resign less than two months after Labor's lacklustre performance in Flinders.[30] Hawke's leadership ambitions were realised when Hayden announced his resignation as Labor leader on the morning of 3 February 1983, at a meeting of the shadow ministry in Brisbane.[31] The same day, Fraser, hoping to capitalise on Labor's feuding, and unaware of events that had taken place in Brisbane, called an election for 5 March, only to discover that his opponent would not be Hayden, but the overwhelmingly popular Hawke.[32] Five days later, Hawke was unanimously elected leader of the Australian Labor Party. Twenty five days later, Labor won the 1983 election by a landslide, ending over seven years of conservative rule.

Prime Minister 1983–91

A cheque for Ash Wednesday bushfire relief to South Australian Premier John Bannon is presented by Hawke in April 1983.

The inaugural days of the Hawke government were distinctly different from those of the Whitlam era. Rather than immediately initiating extensive reform programmes, Hawke announced that Fraser's pre-election concealment of the budget deficit meant that many of Labor's election commitments would have to be deferred.[33] Hawke managed to persuade the Labor caucus to divide the ministry into two tiers, with only the most important ministers attending regular cabinet meetings. Caucus still selected the full ministry, but allowed Hawke to select which ministers would comprise the 13-strong inner cabinet.[34] This was to avoid what Hawke viewed as the unwieldy nature of the 27-member Whitlam cabinet. The caucus under Hawke also exhibited a much more formalised system of parliamentary factions, which significantly altered the dynamics of caucus operations.[35]

Hawke used his great authority to carry out a substantial set of policy changes. Accounts from ministers indicate that while Hawke was not usually the driving force for economic reform (that impetus coming from the Treasurer Paul Keating and Industry Minister John Button), he took the role of reaching consensus and providing political guidance on what was electorally feasible and how best to sell it to the public, at which he was highly successful. Hawke proved to be very popular with the Australian electorate and set during his first term the record for the highest approval rating on the ACNielsen Poll (a record which still stands as of 2008).[36]

Keating and Hawke provided a study in contrasts. Hawke was a Rhodes Scholar; Keating left high school early.[37] Hawke's enthusiasms were cigars, horse racing and all forms of sport; Keating preferred classical architecture, Mahler symphonies, and collecting English Regency and French Empire antiques.[38] Hawke was consensus-driven; Keating revelled in aggressive debate. Hawke was a lapsed Protestant; Keating was a practising Catholic. Despite their differences, the two formed an effective political partnership.

According to political commentator Paul Kelly, 'the most influential economic decisions of the 1980s were the floating of the Australian Dollar and the deregulation of the financial system'.[39] Although the Fraser government had played a part in the process of financial deregulation by commissioning the Campbell report[40] — published in 1981 — opposition from Fraser himself, the National Party and Treasury Secretary John Stone stalled the deregulation process. When the Hawke-Keating Government implemented a comprehensive program of financial deregulation and reform, it 'transformed economics and politics in Australia'.[41] The Australian economy became significantly more integrated with the global economy.[42] Both Hawke and Keating have claimed the credit for being the driving force behind the Australian Dollar float.[43]

Among other reforms, the Hawke Government dismantled the tariff system,[44] privatised state sector industries, ended subsidisation of loss-making industries, and sold off the state-owned Commonwealth Bank of Australia.[45] The tax system was reformed, with the introduction of fringe benefits tax and a capital gains tax[46] — a reform strongly opposed by the Liberal Party at the time, but not reversed when they returned to office. Partially offsetting these imposts upon the business community — the 'main loser' from the 1985 Tax Summit, according to Paul Kelly — was the introduction of full dividend imputation, a reform insisted upon by Keating.[47]

Hawke benefited greatly from the disarray into which the Liberal opposition fell after the resignation of Fraser. The Liberals were divided between supporters of the dour, economically and socially conservative John Howard and the urbane Andrew Peacock. The arch-conservative Premier of Queensland, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, also helped Hawke with his "Joh for Canberra" campaign in 1987, which proved highly damaging for the conservatives. Exploiting these divisions, Hawke led the Labor Party to comfortable election victories in 1984 and 1987.

Hawke's Prime Ministership saw considerable friction between himself and the grassroots of the Labor Party, who were unhappy at what they viewed as Hawke's iconoclasm and willingness to cooperate with business interests. All Labor Prime Ministers have at times engendered the hostility of the organisational wing of the party, but none more so than Hawke, who expressed his willingness to cull Labor's "sacred cows". The Socialist Left faction, as well as prominent Labor figure Barry Jones, offered severe criticism of a number of government decisions. He has also received criticism for his 'confrontationalist style' in siding with the airlines in the 1989 Australian pilots' strike.[48]

On social policy, the Hawke government saw gradual reforms. The Whitlam government's universal health insurance system (Medibank), which had been dismantled by Fraser, was restored under a new name, Medicare. A notable success for which the government's response is given considerable credit was Australia's public health campaign about AIDS.[49] In the later years of the Hawke government, Aboriginal affairs saw considerable attention, with an investigation of the idea of a treaty between Aborigines and the government, though this idea was overtaken by events, notably including the Mabo court decision.

The Hawke government also made some notable environmental decisions. In its first months in office it stopped the construction of the Franklin Dam, on the Franklin River in Tasmania,[50] responding to a groundswell of protest about the issue. In 1990, a looming tight election saw a tough political operator, Graham Richardson, appointed Environment Minister, whose task it was to attract second-preference votes from the Australian Democrats and other environmental parties. Richardson claimed this as a major factor in the government's narrow re-election in 1990,[51] Hawke's last triumph.

Richardson felt that the importance of his contribution to Labor's victory would automatically entitle him to the ministerial portfolio of his choice — Transport and Communications.[52] He was shocked, however, at what he perceived as Hawke's ingratitude in allocating him Social Security instead. He vowed — in a telephone conversation with Peter Barron,[53] a former Hawke political staffer — to do 'whatever it takes' to 'get' Hawke.[54] He immediately transferred his allegiance to Keating and subsequently claimed credit for playing a vital role in Keating's campaign for the leadership as a numbers man.[55]

Decline and fall

Bob Hawke with Labor leader Mark Latham unveil a plaque in 2004 to commemorate the centenary of the Chris Watson Labor government in 1904.

The late 1980s recession and high interest rates saw the government in considerable electoral trouble. Although Keating was the main architect of the government's economic policies, he took advantage of Hawke's declining popularity to plan a leadership challenge. In 1988 Hawke had responded to pressure from Keating to step down by making a secret agreement (the so-called "Kirribilli agreement" or "Kirribilli accord") to resign in favour of Keating some time after winning the 1990 election.[56] After Keating made a speech to the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery that Hawke considered disloyal, Hawke indicated to Keating that he would renege on the agreement.[57]

In June 1991 Keating responded by resigning from Cabinet and challenging for the Labor Party leadership. Hawke defeated Keating's leadership challenge, but he was clearly a wounded leader.[58] Hawke had himself sworn in as Treasurer for one day while he decided between the rival claims of Ralph Willis and John Kerin for the job, eventually choosing Kerin, who proved to be unequal to the job.[59]

Hawke's leadership was further damaged as a consequence of the new Liberal leader, Dr John Hewson, releasing Fightback!, a detailed proposal for sweeping economic change, including a goods and services tax and deep cuts to government spending and personal income tax, in November 1991.[60] Hawke's response to this challenge was judged to be ineffective,[61] and a rattled Labor Party turned to Keating. At a second challenge, on 20 December 1991, Keating defeated Hawke in a party-room ballot, 56 votes to 51. Hawke resigned from Parliament shortly after, sparking the 1992 Wills by-election, which was won by independent Phil Cleary from a record field of 22 candidates.

Hawke apparently had few regrets, although his bitterness towards Keating surfaced in his memoirs. Hawke now claims to have buried his differences and considers Keating a friend.[62]

In July 1990, Hawke had outstripped Malcolm Fraser to become Australia's second-longest serving Prime Minister. This record has since been overtaken by John Howard. Hawke remains the Australian Labor Party's longest-serving Prime Minister.

It is also said by a former Tony Blair staffer that UK Labour and Blair learnt from the Hawke government in the 1980s on how to govern when they took power in the UK.[63]

Life after politics

Bob Hawke campaigning in support of Kevin Rudd and Labor for the 2007 federal election with Julie Owens MP for Parramatta at a local retail precinct.
Bob Hawke at Parliament House for the national apology to the Stolen Generations.

After politics, Hawke entered the business world with considerable success. Hazel Hawke, who for the sake of the Labor cause had put up with the open secret of his relationship with his biographer Blanche d'Alpuget while he was Prime Minister, divorced him, and shortly afterwards he married d'Alpuget. He had little to do with the Labor Party during Keating's leadership. In fact he often criticised the Keating Government publicly.[64] After the election of the Howard Liberal government in 1996 he became a close supporter of Opposition Leader Kim Beazley.

In the run up to the 2007 election, Hawke (at the age of 78) made a considerable personal effort to support the Australian Labor Party's campaign, making speeches at a large number of campaign office openings across Australia. As well as campaigning against WorkChoices, Hawke also attacked John Howard's record as Treasurer, stating "it was the judgement of every economist and international financial institution that it was the restructuring reforms undertaken by my government with the full cooperation of the trade union movement which created the strength of the Australian economy today".[65]

In 2009, Hawke helped establish the Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia. Interfaith dialogue is an important issue for Hawke, who told the Adelaide Review that he is "convinced that one of the great potential dangers confronting the world is the lack of understanding in regard to the Muslim world. Fanatics have misrepresented what Islam is. They give a false impression of the essential nature of Islam."[66]

Honours

Bust of Bob Hawke by political cartoonist, caricaturist and sculptor Peter Nicholson located in the Prime Minister's Avenue in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Hawke was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1979.[67]

In late 2008, he was made Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu, the highest Papua New Guinean honour available to non-Papua New Guinean citizens, entitling him to be referred to as "Chief". In a letter to Bob Hawke, Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare informed him that he was being honoured for his "support for Papua New Guinea [...] from the time you assisted in the development of our trade union movement, and basic workplace conditions, to the strong support you gave us during your term as Prime Minister of Australia".[68]

In August 2009 Bob Hawke became just the third person to be awarded life membership of the Australian Labor Party. [69]

Bob Hawke has received the following honours from academic institutions[70][71]:

See also

References

  1. ^ Davidson, G., et al (1998), p. 302
  2. ^ "Elders Part 5: Bob Hawke". Elders with Andrew Denton. 2010-01-11.
  3. ^ Blanche d'Alpuget, Robert J. Hawke, 87
  4. ^ Australia: Hawke Swoops into Power - Time/CNN 14 March 1983
  5. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.18
  6. ^ Hawke, Bob (1994), p.19
  7. ^ Hawke, Bob (1994), p.24
  8. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.20
  9. ^ Hawke, Bob (1994), p.28
  10. ^ Media Man Australia — The Online Home of Greg Tingle — Journalist & TV Presenter
  11. ^ Hawke, Bob (1994), p.28
  12. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.25
  13. ^ Hawke, Bob (1994), p.28
  14. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.25
  15. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.25
  16. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.26
  17. ^ Hurst (1983), p.27
  18. ^ Hurst (1983), p.31
  19. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.78
  20. ^ Terrorists plotted Hawke assassination: ASIO — National — theage.com.au
  21. ^ Davidson, G., et al (1998), p. 303
  22. ^ Hawke (1994), p.70
  23. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.198
  24. ^ Psephos – 1963 Victorian HoR results
  25. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 262
  26. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.24
  27. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 269
  28. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 270
  29. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 270
  30. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 273
  31. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 273
  32. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 275
  33. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.57
  34. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.30
  35. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.30
  36. ^ "The biggest hammering in history". Sydney Morning Herald. 20 May 2008. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/05/19/1211182705614.html. Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  37. ^ Edwards, J.,(1996), p.44
  38. ^ Edwards, J.,(1996), p.6, p.48
  39. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.76
  40. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.78
  41. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.76
  42. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.76
  43. ^ Edwards, J.,(1996), pp.216–217
  44. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.665
  45. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.672
  46. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.175
  47. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.174
  48. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.544
  49. ^ For discussion see William Bowtell, Australia’s Response to HIV/AIDS 1982–2005, Lowy Institute for International Policy, May 2005
  50. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.528
  51. ^ Richardson, G., (1994), pp. 276–277
  52. ^ Richardson, G., (1994), p.281
  53. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.57
  54. ^ Richardson, G., (1994), p.282
  55. ^ Richardson, G., (1994), p.311
  56. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.454
  57. ^ Hawke (1994), p.501. This was the speech in which Keating described himself as the 'Placido Domingo' of Australian politics.
  58. ^ Edwards, J., (1996), p.435
  59. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), pp.649–651
  60. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), pp.609–614
  61. ^ Edwards, J.,(1996), p.441
  62. ^ Hawke and Keating bury the hatchet — ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  63. ^ How the British came, saw and helped Rudd — National — theage.com.au
  64. ^ 1994 Year in Review — Australia Encyclopædia Britannica online
  65. ^ Hawke queries record of man who 'buggered' the economy: The Age
  66. ^ Ward, Amanda (December 2009). "World peace and a republic". Adelaide Review (358): pp. 6–7. http://www.adelaidereview.com.au/archives.php?subaction=showfull&id=1259130386&archive=1261450745&start_from=&ucat=16&. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  67. ^ "It's an Honour". Government of Australia. http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=881975&search_type=simple&showInd=true. Retrieved 3 September 2007. 
  68. ^ "Former Australian Prime Minister Named PNG Chief", Solomon Times, 8 January 2009
  69. ^ "Hawke honoured with life membership". The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25866376-601,00.html. Retrieved 1 August 2009. 
  70. ^ "The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library". UniSA. http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkecentre/library/default.asp. Retrieved 3 September 2007. 
  71. ^ "Bob Hawke biography". UniSA. http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkecentre/library/Biogs/bh_biog.asp. Retrieved 15 December 2007. 

Bibliography

  • Blanche d'Alpuget (1982). Robert J Hawke. Schwartz. ISBN 0-86753-001-4. 
  • Bob Hawke (1994). The Hawke Memoirs. Heinemann. ISBN 0-85561-502-8. 
  • Dean Jaensch (1989). The Hawke-Keating Hijack. Allen and Unwin. ISBN 0-04-370192-2. 
  • Stan Anson (1991). Hawke: An Emotional Life. Macphee Gribble. ISBN 0-86914-279-8, 0869141961. 
  • Stephen Mills (1993). The Hawke Years. Viking. ISBN 0-670-84563-9. 
  • Troy Bramston and Susan Ryan (2003). The Hawke Government : A Critical Retrospective. Pluto. ISBN 1-86403-264-2. 
  • Michelle Grattan (2000). Australian Prime Ministers. New Holland. ISBN 0-186436756-3. 
  • John Hurst (1983). Hawke PM. Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14806-6. 
  • Paul Kelly (1992). The End of Certainty: The story of the 1980s. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86373-227-6. 
  • John Edwards (1996). Keating, The Inside Story. Penguin. ISBN 0-140-26601-1. 
  • Graham Davidson, John Hirst, Stuart MacIntyre (1998). The Oxford Companion to Australian History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553597-9. 
  • Graham Richardson (1994). Whatever It Takes. Bantam. ISBN 1-86359-332-2. 

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Gordon Bryant
Member for Wills
1980 – 1992
Succeeded by
Phil Cleary
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bill Hayden
Leader of the Australian Labor Party
1983 – 1991
Succeeded by
Paul Keating
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Hayden
Leader of the Opposition of Australia
1983
Succeeded by
Andrew Peacock
Preceded by
Malcolm Fraser
Prime Minister of Australia
1983 – 1991
Succeeded by
Paul Keating
Preceded by
Paul Keating
Treasurer of Australia
1991
Succeeded by
John Kerin

Simple English

Hon. Bob Hawke
File:BobHawke(cropped).jpg


In office
11 March 1983 – 20 December 1991
Preceded by Malcolm Fraser
Succeeded by Paul Keating

Born 9 December 1929
Bordertown, South Australia
Political party Labor

Robert James Lee "Bob" Hawke (born 9 December 1929) was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia as leader of the Australian Labor Party.[1] He was the third longest serving Prime Minister of Australia.

He was a union leader before he entered parliament in 1980. He became leader only a little while before the 1983 election but he defeated Malcolm Fraser. His government made many changes, like the Whitlam government, but did it more slowly and with more planning. His government moved Labor to the right economically. His leadership was challenged twice by Paul Keating. He lost the second time and retired.

Hawke has been married twice. During office, he was married to Hazel Hawke, a respected "first lady". Just before Hawke became prime minister, author Blanche d’Alpuget wrote a biography about him. Hawke married D'Alpuget in 1995[2]

References

Prime Ministers of Australia
Barton | Deakin | Watson | Reid | Fisher | Cook | Hughes | Bruce | Scullin | Lyons | Page | Menzies | Fadden | Curtin | Forde | Chifley | Holt | McEwen | Gorton | McMahon | Whitlam | Fraser | Hawke | Keating | Howard | Rudd | Gillard








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