The Bob Hawke Collection commemorates the achievements and legacy of Bob Hawke (1929-2019), Australia's second longest and longest serving Labor Prime Minister.
The Bob Hawke Collection includes documents, photographs, audio visual material, books, memorabilia and objects from across his life and career. The Collection documents his personal family life, his work at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), as Member for Wills, and as Prime Minister; as well as his business, media, charitable, and scholarly pursuits after he resigned from Parliament.
The Collection is housed in the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library at the University of South Australia City West Campus.
The Collection can be explored through searching the Special Collections Catalogue or browsing Collection Discovery. Digital copies of some items are available from the Catalogue, however archival material is not available for loan. Access to the Collection is by appointment, contact Ask the Library.
Image above: Robert Hannaford. Hon RJL Hawke AC Prime Minister of Australia, oil on canvas, Adelaide 2000.
The Hon Robert James Lee (Bob) Hawke AC was born in Bordertown, South Australia in 1929. He was educated at the University of Western Australia, Oxford University and the Australian National University (ANU). Prior to completing his studies at ANU, Hawke joined the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) as a research officer, later becoming the ACTU president from 1973 to 1980.
Hawke joined the Australian Labor Party (ALP) while at university. He entered parliament in 1980 as the Member for Wills and in 1983 was elected as the ALP Leader. Later that year Hawke won the election and became Prime Minister. Under his leadership, the ALP went on to win the next three elections, making Hawke the longest-serving Labor prime minister in Australian history. Throughout his term, Hawke focused on public health care (establishing Medicare), education, human rights and reforms in economics, environmental policy and international affairs.
In 1991, Hawke resigned as Prime Minister and in 1992, he resigned from politics. The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre was established in 1997, along with the Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library. Hawke continued to lend a voice to national issues and remained a strong supporter of the Australian Labor Party until his death on 16 May 2019.
The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library (BHPML), as part of the University of South Australia Library and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre presented a public talk and exhibition as part of the 2019 South Australia History Festival. The talk can be viewed in full in the video above.
The Bob Hawke Collection has over a thousand digitized transcripts of speeches given by the Hon Bob Hawke across his career - before, during and after his time in Government. Most were given in his capacity as Prime Minister covering Hawke government activities and achievements as well as commemorating significant events occurring during his time in office.
Notable speeches in the Collection include:
Bicentenary events including the Closing Ceremony of the Bicentenary given at the 15th National Australian Scout Jamboree where he closed by saying:
So as our Bicentenary now comes to a close, I give you, our young people, this challenge : look into our past and see what we have done well and what we have done less well; look at our present and see what is good and what needs to be changed; then look to the future and ask yourself what contribution you can make to building an even better Australia.
The speech he gave at the Barunga Sports and Cultural Festival in June 1988. This festival was where Mr Hawke was presented with the Barunga Statement by Glarrwuy Yunupingu and Wenten Rubuntja. His last act as Prime Minister was the hanging of the Barunga Statement in Parliament House
Records relating to the Hon Bob Hawke AC GCL are held in a number of organisations across Australia. More information and archival material can be found by exploring the collections linked below.
Related archival collections
There is also wealth of freely accessible information about the Hon Bob Hawke AC GCL available online. The resources linked below have been selected by staff at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library for their quality and accessibility.