Vale Hazel Hawke

By Chrissie Goldrick 7 November 2013
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Former first lady Hazel Hawke was the first member of Australian Geographic, becoming supporter #1 in 1986.

IT IS WITH GREAT sadness that we bid farewell to Hazel Hawke who died on 23 May 2013.

Hazel was the first ever member of Australian Geographic, becoming Charter Supporter number 1 in 1986, when she was first lady of Australia, and she remained so until the end of her life.

We are grateful to her for her continuing support for the values and aims of Australian Geographic in bringing positive Australian stories to the attention of Australians through the pages of the journal and also through the work of the Australian Geographic Society.

In 1995, on the occasion of the journal’s fifth birthday she wrote “This imaginative and classy journal has brought focus to the many wonders of our land, and has nurtured the spirit of adventure and achievement through supporting difficult and unusual assignments.”

Hazel Hawke served as first lady from 1983 til 1991 while her husband Bob Hawke held the office of Prime Minister of Australia.

She earned the respect and affection of Australians for her courage and honesty in the face of numerous personal and health challenges, and for her work across a number of causes, most recently through the work of the Hazel Hawke Alzheimer’s Research and Care Fund. She was diagnosed with the condition in 2003.

She was honoured with an Officer of the Order of Australia award in 2001 for her community work and patronage of the arts.

Text: Chrissie Goldrick

Hazel Hawke visits Dick Smith in his outdoor office at Australian Geographic’s bushy headquarters in Terrey Hills in 1987 (Credit: Australian Geographic)