Albert Hawke

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Albert Hawke
Albert Hawke (uncropped).jpg
18th Premier of Western Australia
In office
23 February 1953 – 2 April 1959
Preceded by Sir Ross McLarty
Succeeded by Sir David Brand
Constituency Northam
Personal details
Born (1900-12-03)3 December 1900
Kapunda, South Australia, Australia
Died 14 February 1986(1986-02-14) (aged 85)
Political party Labor

Albert "Bert" Redvers George Hawke (3 December 1900 – 14 February 1986) was an Australian politician who served as the 18th Premier of Western Australia.[1]

Biography[edit]

Hawke was born to James Renfrey Hawke and Eliza Ann Blinman née Pascoe, both of Cornish descent, in Kapunda, South Australia.[1] Leaving school at the age of 13, he took up an apprenticeship as a clock-maker and jeweller, before working in a lawyers office and joining the Australian Labor Party at 15. At the age of 23 in the April 1924 elections he won the seat of Burra Burra in the South Australian House of Assembly,[2] making him the youngest person to have won a seat in that parliament.

After losing the seat by just 11 votes in the following 1927 election, he moved to Western Australia in 1928, becoming a country organiser for the ALP. In 1933 he caused a major political upset by defeating the sitting Premier Sir James Mitchell by 460 votes in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Northam. Mitchell had held the seat for 28 years previously. Hawke held the seat himself for 35 years until the 1968 general elections for which he did not re-nominate.

During his Western Australian parliamentary career he was appointed Minister for Employment and Labour in 1936 in the Collier and Willcock governments. He also held the positions of Minister for Labour and Industrial Development (1939), Minister for Works, Water Supplies and Industrial Development (1943). After Labor's defeat in the 1947 elections he held various shadow portfolios before becoming Leader of the Opposition on 3 July 1951 after Frank Wise resigned.

In the 23 February 1953 elections he led Labor to victory over the two-term Liberal-Country government of Sir Ross McLarty, becoming Premier as well as Treasurer and Minister for Child Welfare and Industrial Development. In June 1953, Hawke attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London. In social policy, Hawke's governments enacted a series of progressive social reforms including the gradual easing of some oppressive regulations on Aborigines in WA, an accelerated construction of houses and schools, increases in workers’ compensation payments, allowing women to sit on juries, the regulation of hire purchase transactions, and the raising of the school-leaving age to 15.

Labor lost the March 1959 elections to David Brand's Liberals, but he stayed on as opposition leader until 1965, when he retired from politics and returned to live in South Australia.

Hawke's brother, Clement Hawke, a Congregational minister, was the father of Bob Hawke, the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pendal, Phillip. "Hawke, Albert Redvers George (Bert) (1900–1986)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Mr Albert Hawke". Former Member of Parliament Details. Parliament of South Australia. 
  • Ross McMullin, The Light on the Hill: The Australian Labor Party 1891-1991
  • "Albert Redvers George Hawke (Labor)". The Constitutional Center of Western Australia. Retrieved 2006-03-31. 
  • Reid, Gordon Stanley and Oliver, Margaret R. (1982). The Premiers of Western Australia 1890–1982. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. ISBN 0-85564-214-9. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Ross McLarty
Premier of Western Australia
1953–1959
Succeeded by
David Brand
Preceded by
Frank Wise
Leader of the Opposition
1951–1953 and
1959–1966
Succeeded by
Sir Ross McLarty
Preceded by
David Brand
Succeeded by
John Tonkin
Preceded by
James Kenneally
Minister for Employment and Labour
1936–1943
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Harry Millington
Minister for Works and
Minister for Water Supplies

1943–1947
Succeeded by
Victor Doney
New title Minister for Industrial Development
1939–1947
Succeeded by
Arthur Watts
Preceded by
Arthur Watts
Minister for Child Welfare
1953–1959
Succeeded by
Leslie Logan
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
Sir James Mitchell
Member for Northam
1933–1968
Succeeded by
Ken McIver
Party political offices
Preceded by
Frank Wise
Leader of the Labor Party
1951–1966
Succeeded by
John Tonkin