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Bob Hawke


Bob Hawke is the Australian Labor Party Minister who became the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia. Under the expert leadership of Bob Hawke, the Australian Labor party won four elections in a row. Bob Hawke gained the highest popularity ratings as a Prime Minister. He is the only Prime Minister who was removed from his post by a member of his own party, Paul Keating in December 1991.

Bob Hawke or Robert James Lee Hawke was born on 9 December, 1929 in Bordertown, South Australia. He is the second child of Clement Hawke, a Congregational Minister and school teacher, Ellie Lee. After the death of his elder brother, the whole family moved to Leederville, Western Australia, where he spent his childhood. Bob Hawke attended the Perth Modern School and later graduated from the University of Western Australia. He did his undergraduate degree in Arts and Law in 1952. Bob Hawke also won a scholarship and thereafter studied economics at the Oxford University. In 1956, he came back to Australia to complete his doctoral degree at the Australian National University. Bob Hawke however, did not complete his degree and became a research officer and advocate at the Austrlain Council of Trade Unions in 1958.

At the 1963 general polls, Bob Hawke stood as a representative of the Australian Labor Party but was defeated by Hubert Opperman. He served the post of a President of the Austrlain Council of Trade Unions from 1970-1980. Bob Hawke gained immense popularity for effectively solving many industrial disputes. During the 1970’s period, Bob Hawke was a member of many national organisations. For instance, member of the Immigration Planning Council and the Advisory Council (1970-80), Australian Council for Union Training (1975-80), Austrlain Population and Immigration Council (1976-80), Australian Refugee Advisory Council (1979-80), Reserve Bank Board (1973-80) and the International Labor Organization Governing Body (1972-80). Bob Hawke was the National President of the Australian Labor Party from 1973-1978.

On 18 October 1980, Bob Hawke was elected to the Federal Parliament as a representative of the Australian Labor Party for the Wills, Victoria constituency. He won this seat in the four consecutive elections of 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990. After he won in the general elections, Bob Hawke was immediately appointed as the spokes person on Industrial Relations, Employment and Youth in the Shadow Ministry of Opposition leader, W. G. Hayden. On 16 July 1982, Bob Hawke challenged the leadership of Hayden and the supporters of Hawke continued to lobby to replace Hayden. Hayden had to finally resign from the post of President of Labor Party on 3 February, 1983. After his victory, Bob Hawke revived the status of the Labor Party in the government by gaining a major vistory over the Liberal-National coalition in the House of Representatives. As a result of this victory, Bob Hawke became the Prime Minister of Australia.

After becoming the Prime Minister of Australia, Bob Hawke did many reform works. His first major work was to arrange for an “Economic Summit” in Canberra in 1983. Although he tried very hard to lead the Labor Party to a record fourth-time victory in the general election, he was removed from his post in December 1991. Bob Hawke resigned from parliament immediately after resigning from his post of Prime Minister. He then entered into the field of TV journalism and started working for Channel 9 Network. Bob Hawke also showed deep interest in various other business sectors and in 1994 he published his political memoir, “The Hawke Memoirs”.

Bob Hawke had married Hazel Masterson in 1956 and had three children from this wedlock. However, this marriage broke after he left his ministerial position and then in 1995 Bob Hawke married author Blanche D’Alpuget.

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