Prime Minister, Bob Hawke and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Clyde Holding with Kakadu school children in September 1985 (NAA: A6180, 11/9/85/6)

Bob Hawke saw education as a transformative force in society and directed his education ministers in sweeping national reform. Overall funding to both public and private schools was increased, with a focus on ensuring money was distributed where it was most needed.

Federal support increased for disadvantaged students and Indigenous education, resulting in improved school retention rates.

The National Policy for the Education of Girls was released in 1987, with increased participation of female staff and students in Higher Education.

Colleges of advanced education amalgamated to become new Universities. Vocational and Technical education was upgraded in order to promotes the links between education, training and employment.

The importance of education and the creation of
equality of opportunity in education.  These are, to me,
the most fundamental things about a decent society.

Bob Hawke in conversation with Pal Ahluwalia & Greg McCarthy,
The Hawke Legacy, 2009

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Prime Minister, Bob Hawke with school children at the opening of Questacon Science Display in March 1987 (NAA: A6180, 10/3/87/8)


Children presenting a petition to Prime Minster, Bob Hawke outside Parliament House in Canberra, 20 November 1986 (NAA: A6180, 20/11/86/4)

Images courtesy of the National Archives of Australia, digitised from the unprocessed photographs in the Bob Hawke Collection.