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23 November 2012

Bob Hawke; Former Australian Prime Minister launches book in Sydney - 22nd November 2012

Bob Hawke, former Australian PM launches new book: For The True Believers Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History...


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Today former Australian Prime Minster Bob Hawke launched his new book: 'For The True Believers Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History'

'For The True Believers Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History'

Graham Freudenberg, Australia’s greatest speechwriter, says “the Australian Labor Party was built on speeches.” This book brings together great Labor speeches which give voice to the party’s enduring values and achievements, and place it and its principal figures at the centre of historic events.

There are speeches that stir the imagination and inspire, speeches that appeal to humanity, speeches of sorrow and redemption, speeches that urge moderation and caution, speeches that call for courage in the face of adversity, speeches that seek to mute the trumpet sound of war, speeches that attack the forces of conservatism, and speeches which celebrate and mourn the party’s fallen. Chris Watson articulates Labor’s purpose as “a light upon a mountain” – four decades before

Ben Chifley’s famed “light on the hill” speech John Curtin tells a hushed parliament that “a great naval battle is proceeding” Gough Whitlam declarares “It’s time” for a new Labor government Bob Hawke’s urges South Africa’s apartheid leaders to listen to “the spirit of men and women yearning to be free” Paul Keating’s belief in Labor as “the people who can dream the big dreams and do the big things” Kevin Rudd says “We are Sorry” to the stolen generations of Aboriginal Australians

Contents...*full listing at Federation Press website

Foreword – Graham Freudenberg Acknowledgements Preface – Troy Bramston Introduction – Troy Bramston


Former prime minister Bob Hawke has called on both major parties to allow MPs free votes on some issues, ending the "charade" of parliamentary debate and promoting a return to great political speeches.

He urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to tell voters at the next election: "Of course there are particular policies we are committed to. But on some issues there is room for doubt about what exactly is the right way to go. We will introduce draft legislation but there will be no caucusing and we expect members to vote according to what they individually think."


With eight years in office, Bob Hawke was Australia’s longest-serving Labor Prime Minister. He became Prime Minister after only two years in parliament, and only one month as Leader of the Opposition.

Building on his success as trade union president, Hawke established consensus with unions and business to stabilise wage growth, improve the ability of business to compete in global markets and to deregulate the Australian economy and promote growth.


Federation Press

Australia's Prime Minister - National Archives of Australia - Bob Hawke

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

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