More than any other, Bob Hawke was the people’s Prime Minister.
Australians saw themselves in him, and he saw himself in us.
The son of a school teacher and a minister, he grew up in the most ordinary of circumstance.
And yet that boy from Bordertown would leave us with the most extraordinary legacy.
In the coming days, that legacy will be remembered in a multitude of different ways.
Rhode Scholar. Yard Drinker.
Staunch Unionist. Member for Wills.
Labor’s longest serving Prime Minister.
But for so many in our movement, he was and will always be the father of Medicare.
The man who made sure that most fundamental right – healthcare – was afforded to every Australian.
The man who created the foundation of fairness on which our modern nation was built.
In his last act of public life, Bob wrote an open letter to the people of Australia.
In it, he urged us to not only protect his legacy, but to continue pushing for that fairer future.
In Bob’s name, we will.