Bob Hawke and the America’s Cup

In 1983 Prime Minister Bob Hawke attended the America’s Cup in Fremantle, Western Australia. The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. The yacht Australia II made history when the Cup was won from the Americans for the first time in 132 years. In a Nine news interview Hawke, dressed in a similar jacket, said that any employer who sacked a staff member who skipped work on such a day of national festivity was a ‘bum’.

This jacket is a replica of the original jacket worn in 1983. The original was owned by a university student spectator attending the event. The jacket made its way to the Prime Minister during the interview and was subsequently returned. The original jacket is on display at the West Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle as part of their Australia II collection. The replica has made its way around the country, and has since been worn by the former prime minister.

Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library, University of South Australia