Strengthening our democracy. Valuing our diversity. Building our future.
The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, known as the Hawke Centre, is a community-focused centre devoted to generating ideas and solutions to achieve cohesive, sustainable societies. We engage with local and international communities through public learning activities including lectures, seminars, alliances and research projects.
"I commend the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre for its efforts in strengthening democracy, valuing cultural diversity and building the future through its public program, research institute and library. Such values are necessary if we are to create sustainable societies and a peaceful world."
The late Nelson Mandela, International Patron (2001-2013)
Vale The Hon Gough Whitlam AC QC, 1916-2014
With the passing of Gough Whitlam, Australia has lost one of the brightest stars ever to light our political firmament.
What I think was most remarkable about this great star was the breadth of his concerns about issues he saw as relevant to establishing a socially just society, and a secure nation, in a rapidly changing world.
Without in any way being exhaustive, look at just some of these issues:
- adequate basic civic services for a rapidly expanding suburban Australia.
- an equitable universal health scheme.
- equality of opportunity in education.
- recognising basic changes in Asia, particularly the diplomatic recognition of China
Gough Whitlam made the ALP acknowledge the need to embrace such issues and in other ways to properly prepare itself for office. Without any question Labor’s emergence in 1972, after 23 years in the political wilderness, owed more to Gough’s imaginative, determined leadership and oratorical skills than any other factor.
Very simply, Australia is a significantly better country because of the life and work of Gough Whitlam. I remember him not only with immense respect but also with great affection.