New era for Hawke House

Sophie Conlon

A new era has been heralded at Bordertown’s Hawke House, with the site now open for accommodation.

After purchasing the property in 2019 and completing renovation and restoration works the Tatiara District Council hosted the opening on Friday, May 10.

Senator Don Farrell officially opened the site and said it had been “magnificently restored”.

“There has only ever been one Australian Prime Minister born in South Australia and that of course was Bob Hawke,” he said.

“He was born right in this property that we are standing in front of today and which I have the very great privilege of opening.”

During the his speech Mr Farrell spoke of Hawke’s involvement in the Labor Party, his rise to become the Prime Minister and the legacy he left.

After cutting the ribbon Mr Farrell said he felt privileged to open Hawke House to the public.

“South Australian’s and Australian’s generally will have the opportunity to experience what life would have been like for Bob Hawke when he was born in 1928,” she said.

Mr Farrell congratulated council for the “innovative way” they developed the site into tourist accommodation.

Mayor Liz Goossens said council wanted to make sure the house was used to “the best of it’s ability”.

“Experiencing staying in Hawke House is pretty unique and I think that’s the angle we’re going from,” she said.

While Ms Goossens said the Tatiara was not exactly a tourist destination she hoped this new accommodation would draw people in.

“This is a great opportunity to hopefully encourage people to stay for a few nights and really enjoy the experience,” she said.

Many community members gathered for the opening to have a peek at the former Prime Minister’s childhood home, with Ms Goossens saying they were proud.

“Everybody does love Bob Hawke, even if they don’t want to admit it,” she said.

“When Bob was alive he did visit here a few times and we always had a big turn out.

“I think people are proud that he was born here in Bordertown and it is our claim to fame.”