Bob Hawke & Family Provision

Bob Hawke was Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister leading the Australian Labor Party to victory in 1983, 1984, 1987, and 1990, making him the most electorally successful Labor Leader in history. Hawke was born in Bordertown South Australia; attended the University of Western Australia and was a Rhodes Scholar.

In 1956, Mr Hawke joined the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) as a research officer, working through a number of roles before eventually being elected ACTU President in 1969, where he achieved a high public profile.

In 1980 Mr Hawke was elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Wills in Victoria; leading the ALP to victory at the 1983 election.

Mr Hawke married his first wife Hazel in 1956 they had four children; Susan (born 1957), Stephen (born 1959), Roslyn (born 1960) and Robert Jr, (born 1963 who died in early infancy).

Mr Hawke was known throughout his first marriage for his heavy drinking and womanising. Notably Mr Hawke had an extra marital relationship with his biographer Blanche d’Alpuget; leaving Hazel for Blanche in the 1990’s leading to an estrangement from some of the members of his family for a time. Reportedly Mr Hawke and his family reconciled by the 2010s.

Mr Hawke died on 16 May 2019, aged 89 of natural causes, at his home in Sydney.

Mr Hawke reportedly left an estate in excess of $15M to his second wife Blanche, with a separate arrangement for the payment of $750,000 to each of his children and stepson on his death.

Reportedly Mr Hawke’s daughter, Roslyn Dillon is preparing to make a family provision claim on the estate; a two stage approach is applied by a Court in considering such applications:

  1. was the provision (if any) made for the applicant ‘inadequate for (his/her) proper maintenance, education and advancement in life’ having regard, amongst other things, to the applicant’s financial position, the size and nature of the deceased’s estate, the totality of the relationship between the applicant and the deceased, and
  2. the relationship between the deceased and other persons who have legitimate claims on the estate.

Roslyn, as a child of Mr Hawke, is eligible to make a claim on the estate and the court will consider various factors in assessing her claim; if Roslyn can establish that she has not received sufficient provision for her proper education, maintenance and advancement, then the court may make an order for the estate to meet her financial need.

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