Parliament pays tribute to Bob Hawke

Parliament pays tribute to Bob Hawke

The second day of the 26th Parliament opened with a rare moment of bipartisanship, with both the government and opposition paying tribute to the late Bob Hawke.

Both the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Antony Albanese gave addresses that touched on Mr Hawke’s contributions to Australian life.

The Prime Minister announced a new $5 million scholarship in Mr Hawke’s name.

Regular Parliament business was suspended for the day to allow an entire day of condolence speeches upon the death of a former prime minister.

Although Mr Hawke was famously an agnostic, he nonetheless had a Uniting Church connection. His father, Clem Hawke, was a Congregationalist Minister, and thereby part of one of the Uniting Church’s forebear churches.

Mr Hawke once described the ongoing influence of faith on his life when he said that, “My father said if you believe in the fatherhood of God you must necessarily believe in the brotherhood of man, it follows necessarily, and even though I left the church and was not religious, that truth remained with me.”

Mr Hawke passed away on 16 May 2019 at the age of 89. He was the second longest serving prime minister in Australian history, serving in the role from 1983 to 1991. His government’s achievements included the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984, the Disability Services Act of 1984, the creation of Medicare and Landcare Australia. His third deputy leader was Rev. Brian Howe, who is also a Uniting Church minister.

Photo Credit: AAP

 Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor


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