On Australia Day, 26th January 1984 Hazel Hawke addressed the National Press Club in Canberra. This was a first for a wife of an incumbent Prime Minister. It was this occasion that made many take note and this speech set the agenda for the issues that Hazel Hawke was to address repeatedly and unwaveringly during her term in the Lodge in Canberra.
The National Press Club speech is roaming in nature, moving between observations of life at the Lodge, revelations about her own personal negotiations of being a wife and mother, and her view of politics and society.
Critically, she singled out three issues on which she expanded; welfare, women, and Aboriginal women.
In the address, Hazel Hawke outlined 'the four powers' of relationship, resources, information and decision-making as being crucial for positive and creative living (so defined by the Action and Resource Centre at the Brotherhood of St Lawrence where she had previously worked for some years). She considered that 'as a group women have in varying degrees been excluded' from utilising these 'powers'.
Hazel Hawke's speech was a turning point in the way she was regarded and the impact of the speech is enduring.
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Hawke speaking at the National Press Club, 26 January 1984
Alder, Redback Graphix.
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