Robert James Lee Hawke, AC, GCL was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia and Leader of the Labor Party from 1983 to 1991. He was the Member of Parliament for Wills from 1980 to 1992.
Hawke was born in Bordertown, South Australia. He attended the University of Western Australia and went on to study at University College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, during which time he set a world record for downing a yard of ale in 11 seconds. In 1956, Hawke joined the Australian Council of Trade Unions as a research officer. Having risen to become responsible for national wage case arbitration, he was elected as President of the ACTU in 1969, where he achieved a high public profile. He was also President of the Labor Party from 1973 to 1980.
In 1980, Hawke stood down from his roles as ACTU and Labor Party President to announce his intention to enter parliamentary politics, and was subsequently elected to the House of Representatives as the Labor MP for Wills in Victoria.