|21st Governor-General of Australia|
16 February 1989 – 16 February 1996
|Prime Minister||Bob Hawke
|Preceded by||Sir Ninian Stephen|
|Succeeded by||Sir William Deane|
|Leader of the Opposition|
22 December 1977 – 3 February 1983
|Prime Minister||Malcolm Fraser|
|Preceded by||Gough Whitlam|
|Succeeded by||Bob Hawke|
|Born||William George Hayden
23 January 1933
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|Education||Brisbane State High School|
|Alma mater||University of Queensland|
(Queensland Police Service)
William George "Bill" Hayden AC (born 23 January 1933) is a former Australian politician who served as the 21st Governor-General of Australia, in office from 1989 to 1996. He had earlier been leader of the Labor Party from 1977 to 1983, as well serving as a cabinet minister in the Whitlam and Hawke Governments.
Hayden was born in Brisbane, Queensland. He attended Brisbane State High School and then joined the Queensland Police, working as a police officer for eight years while studying economics part-time at the University of Queensland. Hayden was elected to the House of Representatives at the 1961 federal election, aged 28. When Gough Whitlam led the Labor Party to victory in 1972, he was made Minister for Social Security. He replaced Jim Cairns as Treasurer in 1975, but served for only five months before the government was brought down.
In early 1977, Hayden challenged Whitlam for the party leadership and was defeated by just two votes. He succeeded Whitlam as Leader of the Opposition at the end of the year when Whitlam resigned as a result of Labor's defeat at the 1977 election. Hayden led the party to the 1980 election, recording a substantial swing but falling well short of victory. He was replaced by Bob Hawke just a month before the 1983 election, after months of speculation. Hayden served as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1983 to 1988, then left parliament to assume the governor-generalship. He held that position for seven years, with only Lord Gowrie having served for longer.
Born in Brisbane, Bill Hayden was the son of George Hayden, an Irish-American sailor originally from Oakland, California, and already 52 years old at the time of Bill's birth. His paternal grandparents were from County Cork, Ireland and significant parts of his approach to social issues and politics throughout his public life reflected the Irish side of his family background, although he attended the non-denominational Brisbane State High School.
He played soccer for Eastern Suburbs FC and served in the Queensland Police Force from 1953-61. He continued his education privately, completing an economics degree (on a part-time basis) at the University of Queensland. Prior to the 1970s, he was a self-described democratic socialist.
During the late 1950s he became active in the Labor Party. In the 1961 federal election he surprised almost everyone, including himself, by winning the House of Representatives seat of Oxley, located in southwest Brisbane. He ousted Don Cameron, the Minister for Health in the Menzies Liberal government, on a nine-point swing. Hayden's win was part of a 15-seat swing to Labor that nearly brought down the Menzies government.
One of the youngest members of the legislature (only 28 years old at the time he entered it), Hayden proved to be a diligent, well-spoken parliamentarian. In 1969 he became a member of the Opposition front bench. When Labor won the 1972 election under Gough Whitlam, Hayden was appointed Minister for Social Security, and in that capacity introduced the single mothers pension and Medibank, Australia's first system of universal health insurance. On 6 June 1975 he succeeded Jim Cairns as Treasurer, a position he held until the Whitlam government was dismissed by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, on 11 November 1975. Labor suffered its worst-ever defeat in the election held a month later; the Liberals' Malcolm Fraser became Prime Minister, and Hayden was left as the only Labor MP from Queensland.
When Labor lost the 1977 election in yet another landslide, Whitlam retired as leader and Hayden was elected to succeed him. His political views had become more moderate, and he advocated economic policies which encompassed the private sector and the American alliance. Several opinion polls during early 1980 showed the ALP under Hayden neck-and-neck with, or actually ahead of, Fraser's administration.
At the 1980 election. Labor finished a mere 0.8 percent behind Fraser's government on the two-party vote, having gained a nationwide swing of over four percent. Yet, due to the geographically uneven nature of the swing (strong in Victoria and, to a lesser degree, Western Australia and New South Wales, but comparatively weak everywhere else), Labor fell 12 seats short of toppling the Coalition. Hayden did, however, manage to slash Fraser's majority, from 48 seats to 21. He not only regained most of what Labor had lost in the previous two elections, but put the party within striking distance of winning the next election.
By 1982 it was evident that Fraser was manoeuvring to call an early election. But the main threat to Hayden came less from Fraser than from elements in Hayden's own party. Bob Hawke, a former union leader who had been elected to Parliament two years earlier, began mobilising his supporters to challenge Hayden's leadership. On 16 July 1982 Hayden narrowly defeated a challenge by Hawke in a party ballot but Hawke continued to plot against Hayden.
In December Labor surprised many pundits by its failure to win the vital Flinders by-election in Victoria, further raising doubts about Hayden's ability to lead the ALP to power. On 3 February 1983, in a meeting in Brisbane, various leading Labor figures, including Paul Keating and Senator John Button, told him that he must resign. He reluctantly accepted their advice. Hawke was then elected leader, unopposed. Later that morning, unaware of the events in Brisbane, Fraser in Canberra called a snap election for 5 March.
Fraser had been well aware of the infighting within Labor, and wished to call an election before the party could replace Hayden with Hawke. It was only a few hours before the writs were issued that Fraser learned of Hayden's resignation. At a press conference that afternoon Hayden, still chagrined, said that "a drover's dog could lead the Labor Party to victory, the way the country is".
Labor won the 1983 election handily, and Hayden became Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In that post, he advocated closer integration between Australia and its Asian neighbours. In a 1983 interview, he stated: "Australia is changing. We're an anomaly as a European country in this part of the world. There's already a large and growing Asian population in Australia and it is inevitable in my view that Australia will become a Eurasian country over the next century or two. Australian Asians and Europeans will marry another and a new race will emerge: I happen to think that's desirable." Asiaweek, 19 August 1983.
As Foreign Minister Hayden had oversight of the Australian foreign aid program. In 1983 Hayden announced a review of the Australian foreign aid program (known as the "Jackson Review" after the chair, Gordon Jackson) which reported in March 1984. The main recommendations of the report, which were directed at improving the professional quality of the Australian aid program, were accepted by the Government. During the next few years, in various speeches Hayden set out the foreign aid priorities of the government.
After winning the 1987 election, Hawke offered Hayden the post of Governor-General as a consolation for replacing him earlier as Labor Leader in 1983 and thus denying him the chance to become Prime Minister. The Queen's appointment of Hayden as Governor-General to succeed Sir Ninian Stephen was publicly announced in mid-1988. In the following months, Hayden resigned from Parliament and severed his political connections with the Labor Party. He assumed the post in early 1989 and served during the period of transition from the Hawke Government to the Keating Government in December 1991. The usual term of five years for a Governor-General was extended to seven years.
The Governor-General is normally the Chief Scout of Australia. Hayden declined the office on the grounds of his atheism, which was incompatible with the Scout Promise. Instead, he served as the "National Patron" of the Scout Association during his time in office.
By the late 1990s Hayden joined the board of Quadrant. In the debate preceding the 1999 republic referendum, he rejected the specific proposal and sided with the monarchists, stating he only supported direct election of a president.
Since retirement from the position of Governor-General, Hayden has continued to contribute to public policy discussion in Australia. While on the board of Quadrant, he took time to lend personal support to the publication and wrote a tribute to its editor P.P. McGuinness on his death in 2008. He has also continued to write opinion and comment pieces for other magazines and newspapers in Australia about current social, economic and political issues including foreign affairs.
He received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Queensland in 1990 for his distinguished contributions to Australian life. Other awards included admission to the Order of St John Australia and also the Gwanghwa Medal of the Korean Order of Diplomatic Merit.
In 1996 he was recognised as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies. In 2007 at the 45th State Conference of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Labor Party, Hayden was made a Life Member of the party.
In September 2017, in delivering the second Hayden Oration at the University of Southern Queensland in Ipswich, former Australian prime minister Paul Keating spoke at length of Hayden's contribution to the Labor Party. Keating spoke, in particular, of the reform period during the Hawke Labor Government in the 1980s in Australia. He noted that the foundations for the reforms had been set down before the Labor Party won office in 1983 during the period when Hayden was Leader of the Opposition and was working to prepare the Party for government. "Those great reforms", Keating said, "began with the frameworks Bill Hayden brought to the front bench, the day he became Leader of the Labor Party."
Styles and honours
- Mr Bill Hayden (1933–61)
- Mr Bill Hayden MP (1961–72)
- The Hon Bill Hayden MP (1972–88)
- The Hon Bill Hayden (1988–89)
- His Excellency the Hon Bill Hayden AC (1989–96)
- The Hon Bill Hayden AC (1996–present)
- Bill Hayden, Hayden: An autobiography, op. cit, p. 7.
- Hayden, ibid.
- "Bill Hayden, former Australian Governor-General". Alumni. University of Queensland. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2007.
- "Interview: Bill Hayden on the Dismissal – 30 years later". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 5 November 2005.
- Bill Hayden (1996). "Hayden – Bill Hayden An Autobiography". Pymble N.S.W.: Angus & Robertson. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
- Quoted in Pacific centuries: Pacific and Pacific Rim History since the Sixteenth Century by Dennis Owen Flynn, Lionel Frost, A. J. H. Latham, 1999, Routledge, page 232
- Australian Government Publishing Service, Report of the Committee to Review the Australian Overseas Aid Program, Canberra, ISBN 0 644 03344 4.
- Bill Hayden, 'Policy and Economics of Foreign Aid', Economic Analysis and Policy, 17 (1), March 1987.
- It's an Honour – Companion of the Order of Australia
- "Chief Scout". Scouts Australia. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007.
- "Brief Comments". Australian League of Rights. Archived from the original on 4 December 2007.
- Reporter: Sally Sara (7 October 1999). "Anti-republican cause recruits Bill Hayden". PM. ABC. ABC Radio National.
- "Republicans call for the real Bill Hayden to stand up in the No referendum case". Archived from the original on 28 November 2001. Retrieved 2008-06-21. Republic.org.au, 17 August 1999.
- 'Workingman's friend', The Australian, 29 January 2008
- See his article on gay rights in Australia, 'We've come so far on gay rights but it's not enough', The Punch, 6 October 2009 , and his comment on US-China relations in Asia 'Caught in the US-China wash', The Australian 11 June 2011 .
- University of Queensland, Alumni and Community Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Paul Keating, 'The Hayden Oration 29 September 2017', University of Southern Queensland, Ipswich Campus, Queensland. A summary of Keating's remarks was carried in several major Australian newspapers, including in Mark Kenny, 'Bill Hayden, the most visionary PM we never had, says Paul Keating', The Age, 30 September 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bill Hayden.|
- Denis Murphy, Hayden, A Political Biography, Angus & Robertson Publishers 1980 ISBN 0-207-14101-0
- John Stubbs, Hayden, William Hienemann 1989
- Bill Hayden, Hayden, An Autobiography, Angus and Robertson 1996 ISBN 0-207-18769-X
|Parliament of Australia|
|Member of Parliament
|Minister for Social Security
|Treasurer of Australia
|Leader of the Opposition
|Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Sir Ninian Stephen
|Governor-General of Australia
Sir William Deane
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Labor Party