Australia's 23rd Prime Minister , third longest serving and longest serving Labor Prime Minister has passed away today. As an Australian expat I reflect on his passing from a long way away.
Many people far far more prominent than me are commenting on his legacy which is on any measure substantial and impressive. I want to talk about what Bob's life and what it and his passing has meant to me.
Bob Hawke led the Australian Labor Party to victory in 1983 defeating Malcolm Fraser. This was the first time that I , as a second year student in Industrial Relations at the University of New South Wales in Australia voted. My choice of major was influenced in large part by people like Bob Hawke as Industrial Relations concerned itself with the study of the place we spend the majority of our time, the workplace.
It was of course a different time in 1983. There was certainty and a sense of stability in employment and the integral nature of work to our sense of dignity and being had not been tossed aside. The era that we are living in today, so accurately described by Alvin Toffler in Future Shock, was not yet upon us.
While we mourn the loss of a great man his passing means that another link to that era where people genuinely got a " Fair Go " has been inexorably broken. I for one am certainly sadder for it.
Australia has an election on Saturday . It is a crucial election because of a range of issues from National Security through to the environment and more broadly in my view the type of society we have become in Australia or would like to be
Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison whichever one of you wins on Saturday will bear a heavy responsibility. Your mission among many will be to steer the country away from the politics of narcissism which has been prevalent for a number of years and restore certainty to people reeling from constant restructuring in the workplace and other forms of corporate consolidation.
So Bob rest well mate you deserve it. I never had the chance to meet you but I certainly would have liked to have done so. Your contribution has been immense and we Australians are all the better for it.