The WA State Government has officially purchased the childhood residence of Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, following settlement of the property.
Hawke’s boyhood house in the Perth suburb of West Leederville has had only one owner since his 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.
Hawke moved to the house at age nine
The brick and tile inter-war suburban cottage was home to young Bob 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.
He rose quickly through the ranks of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, before entering Federal Parliament in 1980 and leading the Australian Labor Party to victory in 1983 and winning a further three terms of government.
Australia’s longest-serving Labor PM
“As Australia’s longest-serving Labor Prime Minister, Hawke oversaw one of the most ambitious policy agendas in Australia’s history and devoted his life to the service of our country,” the WA Government said in a statement.
“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.
A giant on the global political stage
“Bob Hawke was a giant on the political stage; not just in Australia, but globally,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.
“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.”
Bob Hawke passed away in May 2019.