A handful of Bob Hawke’s memorable quotes

AS Australia mourns the loss of one of its greatest Prime Ministers, here are 10 of Mr Hawke’s most memorable quotes:

“AS a bloke who loved his country, still does. And loves Australians and who wasn’t essentially changed by high office.” – When asked how he would like to be remembered.

“Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.” – Amid champagne soaked celebrations after Australia II won the America’s Cup in 1983.


“I just said to myself, ‘If you’re going to become prime minister of this country you can’t afford ever to be in a position where you can make a fool of yourself or of your country’, and I never had a drop for the whole period I was in parliament.” – On giving up drink.

“If this was 11 years ago, I’d be getting pretty thoroughly drunk but fortunately for me and even more fortunately for others that is 11 years ago, and the only beer that will be passing my lips will be the totally non-alcoholic variety.” – After being deposed as leader by Paul Keating.

“Do you know why I have credibility? Because I don’t exude morality.”

“The world will not wait for us.” – Boyer lecture, The Resolution of Conflict, 1979.

“He’s one of the worst human beings I’ve ever met. He treated black and white with equal contempt. He was a horrible human being.” – On Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe.

“The previous Olympics, for instance, you have the Brits getting up, they win a medal — they do win one occasionally — and up goes God Save The Queen, and then Australia gets up and it’s the same anthem — now, that’s crazy.” – On recommending Advance Australia Fair as a new national anthem in 1984.

“I just loved him and he loved me… He was a most humble man, the most decent man I’ve ever met in my life and he always looked for the best in people to find positives.” – On his father.

“Some people die because of unfortunate accidents, sometimes because they become so ill that doctors are unable to help them recover. Perhaps when we grow very old our bodies get worn out, or certain parts break down, like parts in an old car. None of us can be sure of how long we will live. Because this is so I think you should try not to think too much about dying but think about all the nice things around you that make life so precious to us all.” – From his 1985 letter to a young girl called Tracey Corbin, struggling with the death of her grandmother.

© AAP 2019