Historic Bob Hawke family home to be preserved

  • State Government acquires childhood home of Bob Hawke
  • Historic West Leederville property to be owned and maintained as a State asset
  • Home also to be considered for entry on the State Register of Heritage Places 
  • The State Government has officially purchased the childhood residence of Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, following settlement of the property.

    The West Leederville house has had only one owner since Mr Hawke’s parents sold it in 1981, to a buyer who has maintained an awareness of its historic significance. It was purchased by the State Government for $1.45 million.

    The brick and tile, inter-war suburban cottage was home to Bob Hawke for much of his formative years. He first moved to the Tate Street address at the age of nine, and resided there with his family while attending Perth Modern School.

    He went on to study at The University of Western Australia before attending Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

    Bob rose quickly through the ranks of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, before entering Federal Parliament in 1980, leading the Australian Labor Party to victory in 1983 and winning a further three terms of government.

    As Australia’s longest-serving Labor Prime Minister, Bob oversaw one of the most ambitious policy agendas in Australia’s history and devoted his life to the service of our country.

    Bob Hawke passed away in May 2019.

    The three-bedroom Tate Street property signifies a major part of the life of one of the greatest Australians. It is currently under residential lease and will be owned and maintained by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage on behalf of the Western Australian community.

    The Heritage Council of Western Australia has determined under the Heritage Act 2018 that the property is likely to be of cultural heritage value at the State level, and will now assess the home for consideration for entry on to the State Register of Heritage Places.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “It is both momentous and humbling to be able to secure public ownership of this landmark in our State’s history.

    “Bob Hawke was a giant on the political stage; not just in Australia, but globally.

    “He led our country through watershed reforms that changed our whole landscape forever, both figuratively – such as by pioneering Medicare, and literally – by initiating and funding nationwide Landcare programs.

    “He introduced superannuation schemes for all workers and delivered Australians full and final independence from the United Kingdom with the passage of the Australia Act 1986.

    “Bob’s uncle Albert served as Labor Premier of Western Australia between 1953 and 1959. 

    “The unremarkable suburban home of a Congregationalist Minister and a schoolteacher raising their son reminds us how a seemingly ordinary childhood can lead to extraordinary achievements.

    “It is highly probable that family time spent in this house in West Leederville would have shaped his views and been instrumental in giving him both the deep principles and the ‘lovable larrikin’ character that he will always be remembered for.

    “In owning this national asset, we as Western Australians own the narrative that great leaders can emerge from modest places, and the world can be changed for the better.”

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