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Hon. Bob Hawke AC

Photo of Bob Hawke

The Hon Bob Hawke AC was born in South Australia in 1929. After completing his education at the University of Western Australia, (degrees of Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Economics), in 1953 - 1955 he studied at Oxford University under a Rhodes Scholarship, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Letters.

In 1956 he returned to Australia to take up a research scholarship at the Australian National University, and in 1958 became Research Officer and Advocate with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). He was ACTU President from 1970-1980. During this time, he was also President of the Australian Labor Party (1973 -1978).

In 1980 he was elected to the Federal Parliament, and in February 1983 became the Leader of the Opposition. He led the Labor Party to victory in the general election in March 1983 and, in winning three successive elections, became Australia’s longest serving Labor Prime Minister. He ceased to be Prime Minister in December 1991 and resigned from the Parliament in February 1992. In August 2009 Mr Hawke was given National Life Membership of the Australian Labor Party.

His post-parliamentary career has included Adjunct Professor in the Research Schools of Pacific Studies and Social Sciences at the Australian National University; Honorary Visiting Professor in Industrial Relations at the University of Sydney and Membership of the Advisory Council of the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and  Chairman of the Committee of Experts on Membership of the Education International.

He is an Honorary Fellow at the University College of Oxford and holds honorary degrees from the University of Western Australia; Nanjing University of China; the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the University of New South Wales; the University of South Australia; Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law, Oxford University and an  Hon Doctorate of Humanities, Rikkyo University, Tokyo. 

Mr Hawke was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1979. In 2009 he was awarded by The Papuan New Guinea Government the highest award for non-citizens, the Grand companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL). In 2012 Mr Hawke received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from the Government of Japan.

Current honorary positions include: Member of the Advisory Council, The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney; Member of the Council of Advisers of the Boao Forum for Asia; Member of the International Advisory Council of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue; Chairman of The Hawke Research Institute Advisory Board at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of South Australia; Member of the Advisory Board, Deliberative Issues Australia; Patron of the Australian Institute of Employment Rights, and Patron of Indigenous Engineering Aid.