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Remembering the former Prime Minister of Australia, Robert James Lee Hawke AC, GCL

On behalf of the Torres Strait Regional Authority Board, we wish to pay our deepest condolences to the family of former Prime Minister Robert James Lee Hawke AC, GCL on his passing.

Mr Hawke’s legacy as a great Australian Prime Minister and reformer leaves a lasting legacy and changed the face of our nation. The people of the Torres Strait owe him a great debt for his service.

His commitment to fighting injustice and racism wherever he found it, is particularly recognised by the people of the Torres Strait.

He leaves a proud legacy of standing with the Indigenous people of Australia in advancing our rights. These achievements included the hand back of Uluru – Kata Tjuta to the Anangu Traditional Owners, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the appointment of the late Charles Perkins, the first Indigenous person to head a Commonwealth department and the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

The establishment of the Torres Strait Regional Authority and the recognition of Ailan Kastom as central to our work in leading social, cultural and economic development in the region has its foundation in the Hawke Government’s decision to establish the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in 1990.

On the international stage, Prime Minister Hawke played an instrumental role in forming a coalition of nations to work together and defeat the evil of the apartheid policy in South Africa.

His conviction as an internationally respected leader to speak from the heart and lead with moral authority and purpose is the quality that will inspire our people for generations to come.

We wish the Hawke family all the very best through this difficult time of sorrow.

To the national leader we knew and loved as Bob, we simply say koeyma eso, au esoau and we will always remember you.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.