Australia mourns the passing of its 23rd and third longest-serving Prime Minister, the Honourable Robert James Lee Hawke AC, GCL.

Profoundly Australian, Bob Hawke was a conviction politician who became a political legend.

Bob Hawke was a great Australian who led and served our country with passion, courage, and an intellectual horsepower that made our country stronger.

He was true to his beliefs in the Labor tradition and defined the politics of his generation and beyond.

He was the most electorally-successful Federal Labor leader in history: the winner of four successive elections and the longest-serving Labor Prime Minister.

Before arriving in Parliament, as president of the ACTU, Bob Hawke’s ability to build consensus not only with unionists, but with his opponents, employers and government representatives, cemented his reputation as a man of great skill, courage and tenacity.

We remember him for his unique capacity to speak to all Australians as one – from everyday battlers to business leaders. His larrikinism was a big part of that.

His popularity, coupled with his strong intellect and discipline, achieved many important reforms in the national interest, strongly supported by the Liberal and Nationals Opposition at the time.

On behalf of all Australians, I extend to Mr Hawke’s widow Blanche and to his family, our deepest condolences, and acknowledge the support and contribution of the late Hazel Hawke.