Cambodian refugees remember Hawke’s legacy

As Australia paid tribute to the recent passing of Bob Hawke, the country’s 23rd prime minister, this author sent a statement of condolence on behalf of Cambodian community in Australia to former prime minister Julia Gillard, describing Hawke as “the greatest peacetime leader Australia has ever had” and who “was an inspiration.”

Hawke’s policy in the early 1980s was deeply appreciated by Cambodian refugees who were accepted to settle in Australia. To Hawke, “every human being mattered.”

In Hawke’s memory, this is the right time for the author to retrace his former life as a refugee prior to settlement in Australia in 1983 – the year that Hawke became prime minister.

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