UniSA honours a leader that shaped our nation Robert James Lee Hawke 9/12/1929 – 16/5/2019

May 16 2019

The University of South Australia, home to The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, celebrates the life and work of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke who died today.

Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says Bob Hawke’s contribution to Australia, not only in advancing the conditions of working people, but in developing the economy so that Australia could become a more powerful player globally and especially in the Asia Pacific region, has been nation-building.

“Bob had a formidable intellect but that was framed by a genuine connection with and understanding of everyday people and the practicalities and challenges in their lives.” Prof Lloyd says.

“His career in the Trade Union Movement, as a member of Parliament and as Australia’s longest serving Labor Prime Minister, and someone who led the transformation of the economy and industrial relations, was only one part of this remarkable man’s story.

“Beyond politics he has been a vital and active campaigner for education, for peace and interfaith dialogue and for Australia and its people.

“Well into his 80s he was tireless in his commitment to the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and its program of free public events that encourages new thinking about civil societies and gives everyone access to some of today’s greatest thinkers and leaders of social reform.

“At the same time, he was still travelling the globe to advance Australia’s trade and diplomatic links and strengthen international friendships.

“At UniSA we will remember his generosity, his dedication to The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, and his efforts to support research into interfaith and intercultural understanding.

“We will also remember his warmth, his incisive intellect, his wit and humour and his enduring capacity to bring people along, to help them think in new ways and to build understanding.

“We are so proud that just over 21 years ago Bob Hawke agreed to the foundation of The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and we believe through both its public program and the repository of vital historical documents held in its library, we can carry on his legacy.

“His unstinting support for UniSA, under the leadership of three Vice Chancellors – Professors Denise Bradley and Peter Høj and myself – has been significant to the growth, development and international presence of the University.

“He was an extraordinary man and he will be missed by the University of South Australia community and the nation.”

A memorial book will be available for people to sign in UniSA’s Kerry Packer Civic Gallery City West campus from Monday May 20th.

The exhibition Advancing Australia Fair – Bob Hawke and his Government 1983 – 1991 will also be open in the gallery, including photographs and film from the Hawke Library archives from next week.

/University Release. View in full here.