Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, is being mourned across Australia.
He served as Prime Minister of Australia and Leader of the Labor Party from 1983 to 1991. A member of the Labor Party, Hawke served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Wills from 1980 to 1992.
Catherine King MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare and Member for Ballarat, released a statement last week, which reads in part:
‘Bob Hawke changed our country
As our longest-serving Labor Prime Minister, the reforms instituted by his government have made our country the place it is today.
The Hawke Government opened our economy to the world, floated the dollar, saved the Franklin River, reset industrial relations, outlawed gender discrimination in the workplace, and launched Medicare.
His Government’s achievements in Australia and overseas are too many to be listed here.
When Bob entered Government 30% of Australians finished year 12 – when he left 70% did.
He transformed our nation.
Following on from the work of Bill Hayden and Gough Whitlam, Bob and his Minister for Health Dr Neal Blewett built Medicare.
Beyond his policy achievements and policy reforms, Bob was beloved for his empathetic common touch.
He abhorred racism – at home and overseas – and he worked tirelessly to confront poverty and address indigenous disadvantage.
Everyone who met him has a story that they will cherish forever.’