Hazel Hawke is one of our most loved and respected Australians. As the wife of a prime minister she brought a down-to-earth warmth to Canberra that influenced everyone she came into contact with. Whether it was working to improve life for the disadvantaged, supporting the arts community or passionately advocating her belief in equality and social inclusion, we all felt her energy, her practicality and her immense capacity for humour and enjoyment.
From the age of eighteen Bob Hawke was the love of her life, yet their journey from youthful idealism to the political realities of Canberra was at times far from easy. The very strengths that made Hawke one of Australia's longest-serving and most successful leaders - his passion and commitment, his gregariousness and his drive - created their own tensions and issues within the family. After leaving the Lodge, their marriage famously fell apart.
But Hazel's life was undiminished, as she continued to build her role as an advocate for tolerance and fairness in the broader community and as a mother and a grandmother within her own family. Public love and support for Hazel reached a new peak eight years ago when she publicly announced she'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
This intimate, beautiful biography of an extraordinary woman is written by Hazel's eldest daughter, Sue Pieters-Hawke. Candid, revealing and fascinating it explores Hazel's life as she navigated personal challenges and profound social changes, and celebrates her value as a mother, wife, role model and tireless worker for the rights and welfare of others.