A servant to the nation and ANU: Dr Allan Hawke

1 September 2022

Former Chancellor of The Australian National University (ANU), Dr Allan Hawke AC, has passed away overnight, aged 74.

Dr Hawke served as ANU Chancellor from 2006 to 2008, and before that was one of Australia's most senior and respected public servants and diplomats.

In his time with the public service, Dr Hawke served as Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs (1994-1996), Secretary of the Department of Transport and Regional Services (1996-1999), and Secretary of the Department of Defence (1999-2002).

Before joining the public service he was Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Dr Hawke was High Commissioner to New Zealand from 2003-2005.

A graduate of ANU, with a bachelor's degree in science and a PhD, he made significant contributions to ANU and the University community during his time as Chancellor.

Dr Hawke served as Chancellor through a period of great change at ANU. With ANU Council he oversaw an extensive program of capital works, including new buildings for the Crawford School and ANU College of Business and Ecnomics, as well as the major redevelopment of the University's Science Precinct. 

He also led ANU Council in its response to the impact of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. 

Dr Hawke was praised for creating a sense of collegiality on the ANU Council and an environment that fostered good decision-making. 

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said that Dr Hawke had served ANU and Australia with "great distinction".

"Australia and ANU have lost a true leader," Professor Schmidt said.

"Dr Hawke made significant contributions in areas vital to our national interest, including defence and our regions, as well as in our relations across the globe.

"And he was instrumental in making sure ANU continued to serve our nation and all Australians by delivering benefits through world-class research and teaching.

"He embodied the spirit and ethos of our great University - working tirelessly to help build a better Australia and a better future.

"He will be missed."

Dr Hawke was made a companion of the Order of Australia in 2010.