Thursday, 16 May 2019

The University of Western Australia mourns with the nation the passing of one of its most outstanding graduates, the Honourable Dr Bob Hawke, LLB, BA, DLitt.

UWA awarded Dr Hawke a Bachelor of Laws in 1951 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1955. He served as UWA Guild President in 1952 and the State’s Rhodes Scholar in 1953. Upon his election as Prime Minister, the University also honoured him with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1984.

Dr Hawke was invited to launch the University’s publication 100 Treasures from UWA at the UWA Foundation Dinner held in Winthrop Hall in 2011 to celebrate the University’s centenary.

He acknowledged the University’s generous founding father: “I had the opportunity of coming to this great institution – the only free university in the British Empire as a result of the marvellous bequest of Sir John Winthrop Hackett, £450,000 back in 1911, calculated today to be worth $33 million, and that enabled students from poorer backgrounds like myself to come here.

“I believe all of you here tonight will share my indebtedness, my deep sense of indebtedness, to The University of Western Australia for its continuous, unqualified and rigorous commitment over the hundred years of its existence to pure unadulterated teaching and research.”

During the dinner, he also recalled his work on the gardening staff at the University during the 1952 vacation, before he began work as a tutor in economics; and the many games of cricket he played for the University first grade side.

On behalf of the UWA Senate and the wider University community, UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater, expresses sympathy to Dr Hawke’s widow, Ms Blanche d’Alpuget, his family and the nation.

Media references

David Stacey (UWA Media Manager)                                          08 6488 3229 / 0432 637 716


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