The Bob Hawke Collection focuses on items of historical and political interest and includes Hawke's personal papers, photographs, newspaper clippings, audio and video recordings including oral history, posters and original artworks.
The collection also includes a large, varied selection of realia, including a motorcycle, sculptures, state gifts, campaign memorabilia and commemorative items.
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 he was at university 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.
National Archives of Australia
Museum of Australian Democracy
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
State Records of South Australia
Australian Parliamentary Library
National Film and Sound Archive