Robert Hawke

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Robert James Lee (Bob) Hawke (born 1929) served as the Prime Minister of Australia from Mar. 11, 1983 to Dec. 20, 1991, as leader of the Labor Party (ALP).

Born in Bordertown, SA and married to Hazel Masterson, he was educated at the Perth Modern School, the University of Washington, and Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar), before becoming a trade unionist. He described himself as an agnostic.

His governments continued the increasingly heavy legislative programs of his predecessors. Most prominent was the following:

  • The Industrial Relations Act 1988, which replaced the Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904
  • the Social Security Act 1991, which replaced the Social Security Act 1947.
  • The World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983, which invoked a provision in the Constitution to bring "heritage areas" under Commonwealth control for preservation purposes.

Hawke lost the leadership of the ALP and thus his position as Prime Minister due to an internal leadership challenge in 1991 by Paul Keating.

Australian Prime Ministers
Edmund Barton (1901)

Alfred Deakin (1903, 1905, and 1909)
John Watson (1904)
George Reid (1904)
Andrew Fisher (1908, 1910, and 1914)
Joseph Cook (1913)
William Hughes (1915)

Stanley Bruce (1923)

James Scullin (1929)
Joseph Lyons (1932)
Earle Page (1939)
Robert Menzies (1939 and 1949)
Arthur Fadden (1941)
John Curtin (1941)

Francis Forde (1945)

Joseph Chifley (1945)
Harold Holt (1966)
John McEwen (1967)
John Gorton (1968)
William McMahon (1971)
Gough Whitlam (1972)

Malcolm Fraser (1975)

Robert Hawke (1983)
Paul Keating (1991)
John Howard (1996)
Kevin Rudd (2007)