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Media Release

October 9 2007

Hawke Building opens – a hallmark of character, innovation and leadership

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke on a tour of the new Hawke BuildingSome of Australia’s most influential figures will be part of almost 400 guests attending the official opening and dedication of UniSA’s newly completed Hawke Building on Thursday October 11 from 11 am.

Its namesake, former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, the only Australian Prime Minister born in South Australia, will be joined by former Prime Minister and friend Gough Whitlam; the Governor of South Australia, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce; SA Premier Mike Rann; Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop; Senator for South Australia, Natasha Stott Despoja; Senior Vice President of the Bank of America and Samstag Trustee, Errol Silvestri; Lord Mayor Michael Harbison; wife of the late Kerry Packer, Ros Packer; and SA business leader and philanthropist, Allan Scott among others.

The Hawke Building will add a modern chapter to the historical precinct that is North Terrace, Hawke’s name taking its place with Mitchell, Brookman, Mortlock, Elder and Bonython - people remembered for their contributions to the state and the nation.

Designed by architects John Wardle in association with Hassell, the new $35 million Hawke building brings a striking modern presence to the precinct and one that through innovative design, encourages public engagement with the University. It also marks the completion of a $167 million six-year asset plan (known as Blueprint) that has included the construction of six major buildings, extensions and upgrades across UniSA’s five campuses.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj says the Hawke Building represents a significant commitment and investment by the University – an investment in education and in the cultural and intellectual life of the State.

“We see this building as a cultural hub not only for the University but for the broader SA community,” Prof Høj says.

“It features the second largest public art gallery in the state, the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, purpose-built for exhibitions relating to culture, history and social debate and the huge Allan Scott Auditorium for student lectures, but also for the kind of public lectures that regularly contribute to the intellectual life of the state.

“It is more than appropriate that this UniSA building should carry the name of one of Australia’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers because Bob Hawke was and continues to be the kind of leader who strives to bring people together. Through the promotion of education and rigorous intellectual debate, he is an enduring advocate of the public good. These are values and aspirations UniSA shares.”

The Hawke building now houses the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library which includes the full Parliamentary Hansard from the Hawke era, letters, records, books and memorabilia documenting one of the most important periods of Australia’s economic and political history.

The Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art will be open to the public with its first exhibition Wonderful World on October 12 2007.

[News Editors please note: media passes for the event are available by telephoning the media contact. There is no entry to the event without an official invitation or a media pass]


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