Bob Hawke gives his own account of his life, covering his leadership in academia, student affairs, the trade union movement and federal politics. Bob Hawke was born in Bordertown, South Australia on 9 December 1929, the son of a minister of religion and a former teacher. Hawke brought the ALP back into government at the general election on 5 March 1983, gaining a 15-seat majority over the Liberal-National coalition in the House of Representatives.
Under Hawke’s leadership, changes to Australia’s education and training system began in 1984 and continued over the following years. Hawke took the ALP to a record third term in office at the general election on 8 July 1987.
He studied at the University of Western Australia, and then Oxford University as Western Australia’s Rhodes Scholar for 1953. On returning to Australia he started doctoral studies at the Australian National University, Canberra, but did not complete them. Hawke joined the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) as a research officer in 1958, and an advocate before his elevation to ACTU President from 1969 to 1980.
He unsuccessfully contested the Victorian seat of Corio for the ALP at the 1963 federal election. He continued to build a presence in the Australian Labor Party (ALP), and was a member of the National Executive from 1971, and served as National President from 1973 to 1980.