20th anniversary of the Hawke government

Assessing the Hawke government, seriously

Tony Moore

This month (March 2003) a political anniversary of national significance is reached. It marks 20 years since the election of the first Hawke Labor government. It was an election that ushered in 13 years of Federal Labor rule and five winning elections.

To mark the 20th anniversary, Pluto Press will release The Hawke Government: A Retrospective, in August 2003. This book, which is edited by Susan Ryan and Troy Bramston, promises to pull no punches.

It's time that the Hawke government was re-evaluated in terms of its transformation of Australia, and its success in securing electoral support for massive economic and social change.

The national significance is considerable. Bob Hawke is Labor's longest serving Prime Minister and Australia's second longest serving Prime Minister since Federation. This period was, and still is, enormously significant for the Australian Labor Party and for Australia. It marked Labor's longest period in office.

The Hawke period featured a number of important policy achievements which forever changed the face of Australia. The government ushered in many notable achievements in health, education, economic management, the environment and indigenous affairs.

As the below outline demonstrates, the book is an edited collection of chapters from a who's who of writers in the fields of politics, academia and the media.