Social Reform


Prime Minister, Bob Hawke at the opening of new Medicare facilities in Tasmania (NAA: A6180, 16/7/87/6)

Image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia, digitised in the unprocessed photograph from the Bob Hawke Collection.

During his time as Prime Minister, Bob Hawke oversaw significant social reform that has had a lasting impact on Australia.

Government support for low income Australians increased, with the implementation of:

  • The Family Allowance Supplement
  • Youth Allowance and Austudy
  • Home Care Programs to help aged and disabled people
  • Increased rent assistance and public housing funding for low income earners
  • Community Employment Programs for the unemployed

Universal, tax-funded health insurance was reintroduced in 1984 under the name Medicare, building on the Medibank scheme from the Whitlam era.

Social Reform