Bob Hawke was a key figure in the establishment of the Evatt Foundation, embodying the labour movement in his capacities as President of both the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. He was among the many distinguished speakers when the Evatt Foundation was launched in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney on 27 September 1979 - 40 years ago this year. As Hawke recalled:
When the suggestion was made, during my Presidency of the Party, for the establishment of such a foundation, the question arose as to which of the great figures in our history we should so honour. Other names were mentioned but when, using the considerable privileges of the chair, I made this point there was no dissent: no person in that history had approached the towering contribution of Evatt in the field of international relations and it was inconceivable that a foundation having as a prime concern the promotion of public awareness and understanding of that field could be created in other than his name. And so we come to honour this great man tonight. Evatt's unrivalled internationalism was deeply rooted in a passionate commitment to social reform and justice in his own country. Indeed, internationalism was for him the logical extension of that commitment.
Vale Bob Hawke.