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Biography for HAWKE, the Hon. Robert James Lee, AC

Member for Wills (Vic) 1980-92

Australian Labor Party

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the House of Representatives for Wills, Victoria, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990.

Resigned 20.2.92.

Ministerial Appointments

Prime Minister from 11.3.83 to 20.12.91.

Treasurer from 3.6.91 to 4.6.91.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Leader, Commonwealth Parliamentary Delegation to the Australian Constitutional Convention, Adelaide, April 1983 and Brisbane, July 1985.

Official visits to Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, UK, Europe, USA and Canada, June 1983; Thailand, November 1983; CHOGM, India, November 1983; Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia, January-February 1984; CHOGRM, Port Moresby, August 1984; South Pacific Forum, Tuvalu, August 1984; Belgium and USA, February 1985; Canada, March 1985; Fiji, August 1985; Papua New Guinea, September 1985; Bahamas, October 1985; USA and Europe, April 1986; Japan and China, May 1986; UK, August 1986; Switzerland and Middle East, January-February 1987; Western Samoa, May-June 1987; USA, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland and Yugoslavia, October 1987; New Zealand, November 1987; Singapore, USSR and Japan, November-December 1987; USA, June 1988; Tonga, September 1988; South-East Asia, India and Pakistan, January-February 1989; UK, USA and Europe, June-July 1989; Kiribati, July 1989; Singapore and Malaysia, October 1989; New Zealand, February 1990; Turkey, April 1990; South Pacific Forum, Noumea and Vanuatu, July-August 1990; Papua New Guinea, September 1990; Japan, September 1990; CHOGM, Harare, Zimbabwe, October 1991.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 17.9.80 to 3.2.83. Spokesman on Industrial Relations, Employment and Youth Affairs from 17.9.80 to 3.2.83.

Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Australian Labor Party from 3.2.83 to 19.12.91.

Leader of the Opposition from 3.2.83 to 11.3.83.

Party Positions

Member, ALP National (formerly Federal) Executive from 1971; President 1973-78.


Born 9.12.29 at Bordertown, SA.


Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

BA, LLB (WAust), BLitt (Oxon).

Rhodes Scholar (WA 1953).

President, Australian Council of Trade Unions 1970-80.

Member, Reserve Bank Board 1973-80.

Member, Monash University Council 1970-73.

Member, Immigration Planning Council and Advisory Council 1970-80.

Member, ILO Governing Body 1972-80.

Member, Australian Council for Union Training 1975-80.

Member, Australian Population and Immigration Council 1976-80.

Member, Australian Refugee Advisory Council 1979-80.


The resolution of conflict, Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1979.

National reconciliation: the speeches of Bob Hawke, Sydney: Fontana, 1984.

The Hawke memoirs, Port Melbourne: William Heinemann Australia, 1994.


Appointed Companion of the Order of Australia, January 1979.


Description: Inner metropolitan - residential suburban and industrial.

Location: North Melbourne; following the 1989 electoral redistribution it includes the suburbs of Brunswick, Coburg, Essendon, Fawkner, Glenbervie, Oak Park, Pascoe Vale and Strathmore.

Area: 44 sq km (approx.).

Electors enrolled: 75 823 (at 24.3.90).

Industries: Hosiery and clothing manufacture, textiles, foundries, photographic works and general manufacturing.

State electorates: Wills includes parts of the Victorian Legislative Assembly electorates of Brunswick, Coburg, Essendon, Niddrie and Pascoe Vale.