Parliament hears hilarious tale about nude Hawkie
PARLIAMENT has united in a bipartisan day of condolence to the late Bob Hawke, with Scott Morrison sharing a hilarious anecdote that perfectly sums up the former prime minister.
Mr Hawke, the country's third longest-serving leader, died at his Sydney home on May 16 with his beloved wife Blanche d'Alpuget by his side. He was 89.
Today, both houses will put aside the normal adversarial nature of debate to pay tribute to the iconic PM's life, achievements and longstanding legacy.
Mr Morrison set the tone with a generous and moving speech in the House of Representatives, saying that all Australians were grateful for his leadership and service.
"If destiny was Bob Hawke's friend, he understood it was not a passive relationship," Mr Morrison said.
He spoke of Mr Hawke's "capacity to feel", being not afraid to show his raw emotion - whatever the emotion.
"He shed tears at time. He rose to anger. He expressed joy."
Mr Morrison also touched on the more complex side of Mr Hawke, noting that he had experienced extraordinary grief in his life - the death of his brother when they were children and the loss of his own infant son.
"He shed tears over his daughter's struggle with substance abuse and tears with the victims of Tiananmen Square."
And Mr Morrison shared a particular legend about Mr Hawke's larrikin nature.
"On one occasion at Kirribilli House, the AFP officer on duty was tasked to bring forward the papers," he explained. "One morning got to see all of Bob Hawke, as he opened the door in all his glory.
"The AFP adopted a different protocol after … so as to not be exposed to all the glory of Robert James Lee Hawke."
He announced the government would provide $5 million to the General Sir John Monash Foundation to create an annual scholarship in Mr Hawke's honour.
Scholars will be supported for three years to study in any field deemed to be in the interests of the nation, Mr Morrison said.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese praised his mentor and friend's great legacy - revolutionising the national economy, driving social equality, championing Indigenous rights, superannuation, Medicare and environmental protection.
"It was not a uniform agenda. Far from it. It took courage," Mr Albanese said.
Indeed, he explained that when he was the president of Young Labor, he met Mr Hawke for the first time to discuss policy - something the group and PM didn't always agree on.
But Mr Albanese said it was soon clear that what Mr Hawke did was always in the national interest.
"He was at once our leader and our cheerleader. He was ahead of us, calling us on, and somehow he was also waling beside us, and giving us an encouraging push from behind.
"He knew we were capable of better and he knew we could do it - together."
Mr Albanese summed up the leaders' condolences by detailing what Australia can learn from Mr Hawke's public life.
"Don't fear risk. Don't let the word 'no' be your first instinct. Persuade people, bring them with you. Be among the people who chose you to represent them. Listen, engage."