Albert Hawke

Albert Hawke

Infobox Officeholder
honorific-prefix =
name = Albert Hawke
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order = 18th
office = Premier of Western Australia
term_start =23 February 1953
term_end =March 1959
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predecessor = Ross McLarty
successor = David Brand
constituency = Northam
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birth_date = 1901
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nationality =
party = Australian Labor Party
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Albert ("Bert") Redvers George Hawke (3 December 1900 in Kapunda, South Australia - 1989) was Premier of Western Australia from 1953 to 1959.

Bert Hawke's brother, Clement Hawke, a Congregational minister was the father of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke. His parents were James Renfrey Hawke and Eliza Ann Blinman Pascoe.


Leaving school at the age of 13, he took up an apprenticeship as a clock-maker and jeweller before working in a lawyers office and joining the Australian Labor Party at 15. At the age of 23 in the 1924 elections he won the seat of Burra-Burra in the South Australian House of Assembly, making him the youngest person to have won a seat in that parliament.

After losing the seat by just 11 votes in the following 1927 election, he moved to Western Australia in 1928, becoming a country organiser for the ALP. In 1933 he caused a major political upset by defeating the sitting Premier Sir James Mitchell in the seat of Northam in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly by 460 votes. Mitchell had held the seat for 28 years previously. Hawke held the seat himself for 35 years until the 1968 general elections at which time he did not nominate.

During his Western Australian parliamentary career he was appointed Minister for Employment and Labour in 1936 in the Collier and Willcock governments. He also held the positions of Minister for Labour and Industrial Development (1939), Minister for Works, Water Supplies and Industrial Development (1943). After Labor's defeat in the 1947 elections he held various shadow portfolios before becoming Leader of the Opposition on 3 July 1951 after Frank Wise resigned.

In the 23 February 1953 elections he led Labor to victory over the two-term Liberal government of Sir Ross McLarty. He then took up the positions of Premier-Treasurer and Minister for Child Welfare and Industrial Development. In June 1953, Hawke attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London.

Labor lost the March 1959 elections to David Brand's Liberals, but he stayed on as opposition leader until 1968 when he retired from politics and returned to live in South Australia.


*cite web | url= | title = Albert Redvers George Hawke (Labor) | publisher = The Constitutional Center of Western Australia | accessdate = 2006-03-31
*cite book|author=Reid, Gordon Stanley and Oliver, Margaret R.|year=1982|title=The Premiers of Western Australia 1890–1982|location=Nedlands, Western Australia|publisher=University of Western Australia Press|id=ISBN 0-85564-214-9

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