Alex Hawke

Alexander George Hawke MP (born 9 July 1977) is an Australian Liberal Party politician serving as Minister for International Development and the Pacific since 2019, and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Mitchell since 2007. He served as Special Minister of State from 2018 to 2019.

Alex Hawke

Hawke in 2016
Minister for International Development
and the Pacific
Assumed office
26 May 2019
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
MinisterMarise Payne
Preceded byAnne Ruston
Assistant Minister for Defence
Assumed office
26 May 2019
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
MinisterLinda Reynolds
Preceded byDavid Fawcett
Special Minister of State
In office
28 August 2018  26 May 2019
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
Preceded byMathias Cormann
Succeeded byMathias Cormann
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs
In office
19 July 2016  28 August 2018
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Scott Morrison
Preceded byJames McGrath
Succeeded byLinda Reynolds
Assistant Minister to the Treasurer
In office
21 September 2015  19 July 2016
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byKelly O'Dwyer
Succeeded byMichael Sukkar
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Mitchell
Assumed office
24 November 2007
Preceded byAlan Cadman
Personal details
Alexander George Hawke

(1977-07-09) 9 July 1977
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s)Rebecca Davie (2010 - Divorced 2013)
Amelia McManus (2013 - Present)
Alma materUniversity of Sydney

He previously served as the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs in the Second Turnbull Ministry from December 2017 to August 2018.[1] Hawke is a member of the Australian House of Representatives representing Mitchell, in north-western metropolitan Sydney, for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2007. Hawke is a former national and state president of the Young Liberals.

Early years

Hawke's maternal grandparents migrated from Greece in 1953 as part of the post World War II migration to Australia from Europe.[2]

Hawke's mother died when he was 10 years old and he was raised by his father.[3]

He attended Hills Grammar School then Cumberland High School. Hawke then studied at the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Government and Public Affairs.[4] At university he joined the Australian Army Reserve and served for six years, commissioning into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and serving as a lieutenant with the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers.[4][5]

Hawke was raised as an Anglican, but on 3 September 2005, The Sydney Morning Herald journalist Mike Carlton described Hawke as an Anglican, and was forced to issue a correction that he was not an Anglican and that Hawke attends Hillsong Church.[6] He is one of a number of ministers in the Morrison Government who are affiliated with Hillsong, including Scott Morrison and Stuart Robert.[7]

Early political career

Young Liberal Movement

Hawke joined the Liberal Party in 1995, and was elected vice-president of the NSW Division of the Young Liberal Movement in 2001, and became president in 2002. He served on the Liberal Party NSW State Executive from 2002 to 2005, and in 2005 was elected Federal President of the Young Liberal Movement. He remains a member of the Liberal Party campaign Committee, and a Delegate to the Liberal Party State Council.[4]

He was one of the orchestraters of the shift to the right for the young Liberals.[3]

Hawke briefly worked part-time in the private sector while studying at university in 1998, becoming an assistant-manager for Woolworths in the Hills District.[2] Following graduation, he has exclusively worked as a political advisor, firstly as an electorate officer to Ross Cameron MP, Member for Parramatta. In 2001, he commenced work as an adviser to the Senator Helen Coonan, then Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, advising on taxation, superannuation and insurance matters during the time of the HIH liquidation. Hawke has also worked as an adviser to David Clarke MLC and Ray Williams MP.[3]

Early political views

Drawing attention to his political ideology, in 2005 Hawke made it known that he believed the Liberal Party to be the home of conservative values, and claimed that "Nobody joins the Liberal Party to be left-wing. If you stand for compulsory student unionism, drug-injecting rooms and lowering the [homosexual] age of consent, you can choose the Greens, Labor or the Democrats."[8]

A few months later, Hawke attracted some significant controversy. Former NSW opposition leader John Brogden blamed Hawke for contributing to his downfall by leaking information to the media and political enemies – a claim that Hawke denied.[9][10] The next day on 30 August 2005, Brogden was admitted to hospital after committing an apparent attempt at suicide in his electoral office.[11] Brogden's claims were strongly denied by Hawke, who lied when he stated "I have not spoken to a single journalist, on or off the record, about this matter until now and I was not in attendance at the function where Brogden committed these acts. To ascribe any role to me in this embarrassing episode is false and I reject it totally".[9]


On 16 June 2007, Hawke gained Liberal Party preselection for the seat of Mitchell by a margin of 81 votes to 20[12] against David Elliott, then deputy chief of the Australian Hotels Association.[13] Paul Blanch, a grazier from Orange, received 8 votes. Alan Cadman, who had been the member for Mitchell since 1974, chose not to contest the preselection,[12] but was later quoted as saying that this was due to "relentless branch-stacking within the electorate."[14] After his preselection, The Sydney Morning Herald reported Hawke's comments that he believes that Australia will move increasingly towards an American model of conservatism and that "The two greatest forces for good in human history are capitalism and Christianity, and when they're blended it's a very powerful duo."[5] Hawke strongly rejected various reports and allegations that he is a "right-wing extremist", saying he represents the values of his electorate.[15][16]

Hawke was seen as highly effective in his factional manipulations, and was called by 2GB broadcaster Alan Jones as "a cancer on the Liberal Party in NSW".[17]

Split from the Right

In 2009 Alex Hawke and supporters left the NSW Right faction of the Liberal Party over disputes over conflicting preselection influences with NSW upper house MP David Clarke. Hawke then proceeded to go into an alliance with the NSW Moderates, ending the right's control over the party. Hawke in the following years used his balance of power position on state executive to coerce the moderates into parachuting factional allies as Liberal Candidates despite the wishes of local branch members.[18]

Political career

Hawke was elected to Parliament as Member for Mitchell on 24 November 2007. There was a swing against the Liberals of 7.9 points, but Hawke won the seat with 61.6 per cent of the vote on a two-party-preferred basis.[19]

In his maiden speech in the House of Representatives, Hawke described his political beliefs as follows: "My brand of Liberalism is more interested in what we support than what we oppose. I want not just to resist those things that are harmful but to support those things that are good. I derive no satisfaction from opposing the growth of state sponsored welfare if I cannot fan the spark of family, enterprise, self-reliance and human dignity",[2] for which he was praised by Liberal politician Tony Abbott for "a splendid maiden speech which managed to combine a robust expression of political philosophy and a hymn of praise to his splendid electorate."[20]

Hawke increased his margin at the 2010 federal election. With Gould again running against him, Hawke recorded a swing of 7.9 points and won the seat with 67.2 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote.[21]

Hawke called for a conscience vote in Parliament on same-sex marriage in Australia and, despite not supporting same-sex marriage himself, voted for it in Parliament, even though his electorate had recorded a majority 'no' vote in.[22]

In September 2015, Hawke was promoted to Assistant Minister to the Treasurer in the First Turnbull ministry.[23] Following the re-election of the Turnbull Government, Hawke served as the Assistant Minister to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection between 19 July 2016 and 20 December 2017.

Part in Morrison's elevation to prime minister

Hawke was a central player in Scott Morrison's rise to prime minister. He was seen as part of Morrison's inner circle along with Steve Irons and Stuart Robert. Hawke was seen as the tactical leader of the effort to unseat Turnbull.[24]

After the first unsuccessful ballot, where people were discussing the disorganization of the Dutton challenge, Hawke began mobilising the numbers that he had on behalf of Morrison. By the time the second challenge came on 24 August 2018, Hawke had secured the numbers and the prime ministership for Morrison.[25]

There were also claims that Hawke had inside information coming from Bert van Manen, one of the deputy whips, who was also part of Morrison's bible study group.[26]

He was subsequently rewarded with a promotion in the ministry.

Political views

Hawke is a personal opponent of same-sex marriage, and in the debate said that he does "not hold a view that people should not be treated equally under the law". He claimed that the family unit is the bedrock of society and that same sex marriage undermines that.[27] There were conflicting claims as to how Hawke voted for the bill for same sex marriage, with the Murdoch press claiming that he supported it,[22] while the ABC stating that it appeared likely he abstained from the vote.[28] Hawke had earlier called for a conscience vote.

Through his position in the ministry he has called for closer ties to the Pacific region, and to assist them with development. Hawke said that "their prosperity is our prosperity".[29][30] He has supported the shake up of foreign aid which involves a reduction of the foreign aid budget, and according to critics, will allow China more influence in the Pacific region.[31] However these new closer ties did not require further action on climate change despite the calls from Pacific leaders for Australia to reduce their carbon emissions to help the low lying Pacific islands.[32][33]

Hawke has been consistent in his views of limiting the government responses to climate change. In his speeches for the introduction of the Gillard Government's carbon tax, Hawke spoke about the action not being sufficient to affect a meaningful change and therefore should not be done.[34][35] He has also claimed that no one has done more to negate the effects of regional climate change than Australia, a claim the Pacific nations reject.[36]

Hawke declined to intervene as the assistant immigration minister in the case of an intellectually disabled woman who was being cared from in the home by her family in her application for permanent residency. The decision of the immigration department would have meant a return to her country of origin where she had no family and likely institutionalization.[37]


In 2018, Hawke said he strongly supported new rules to allow religious schools to expel students who are gay, bisexual or transgender, warning that people of faith were under attack in Australia: "I don't think it's controversial in Australia that people expect religious schools to teach the practice of their faith and their religion [...] We’re mostly talking about the primary system and very very young people who are below the age of consent. So this is a manufactured issue that the left is raising to try and circumvent religious freedom".[38][39][40]

Also in 2018, Buzzfeed News reported that Alex Hawke was outspending high-profile party members Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott on printing services, despite holding a seat by a 21.4% margin. The company responsible for the printing, Zion Graphics, owned no commercial printer but instead outsourced the printing and charged a premium for the service. Zion Graphics was owned by Rudy Limantono, then president of the Bella Vista Liberal party branch and party donor.[41] A defamation claim was made by Limontono, directed at Buzzfeed, which was settled out of court in 2019. Buzzfeed issued an apology, which included a statement clarifying that it had not intended to present Zion Graphics as anything other than a legitimate business. A follow-up investigation by Australian Printer discovered that the 3rd party contractor that Buzzfeed had claimed Zion Graphics procured printing services from, Hills Banners, had never had Zion Graphics as a client or business partner.[42]

Hawke accused the first Muslim woman elected to parliament, Egyptian born Anne Aly, of thinking that "her diversity as something better than other people's diversity". When challenged on these statements, Hawke responded by saying that Labor were "feigning outrage and falsely claiming racism" in order to shut down debate, and that they were "fixated on identity politics and appears constantly triggered by anything and everything".


Personal life

Hawke was married to Rebecca Davie, an environmental lawyer. They met in 2003 and married in 2010 before deciding to separate in April 2013.[44]

Later in 2013, Hawke married Amiela McManus, a policy advisor for Michael Keenan.[45]

Hawke was briefly caught up in the crisis over foreign citizenship in Australian parliament when questions were raised over his eligibility for Greek citizenship through his mother. The matter was resolved without the need for Hawke to be referred to the High Court.[46][47]

Hawke was a member of the Australian Defence Force reserves, rising to the rank of Lieutenant.[48]


  1. "Ministerial Arrangements | Prime Minister of Australia". 13 March 2018. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  2. "Mr Alex Hawke MP, Member for Mitchell (NSW) – First Speech To Parliament". HansardAustralian House of Representatives. Parliament of Australia. February 2008. Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  3. "A young gun doing the right thing". The Sydney Morning Herald. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  4. "Biography of Alex Hawke MP". Members of the House of Representatives. Parliament of Australia. March 2008. Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  5. Murphy, Damien (23 June 2007). "A young gun doing the right thing". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  6. Carlton, Mike (3 September 2005). "Ah, the tears of crocodiles – Correction". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  7. "Questions about Hillsong, Alex Hawke, and the coronavirus". The AIM Network. 10 April 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  8. Mascarenhas, Alan (18 May 2005). "Young Lib taunts the wets: go to the Greens". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  9. Pearlman, Jonathan; Clennell, Andrew (30 August 2005). "Brogden's parting swipe at Lib enemy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  10. "'Rumour mill' blamed for Brogden demise". Archived from the original on 2 February 2008.
  11. Wainright, Robert; Pearlman, Jonathan (31 August 2005). "Shattered Brogden's suicide bid". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  12. Clennell, Andrew (18 June 2007). "Age does not worry him, says Lib hopeful". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  13. "Hawke secures Liberal preselection for Mitchell". ABC News. Australia. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  14. Maley, Paul; Salusinszky, Imre (24 September 2007). "Veteran Lib slams party's far Right". The Australian. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  15. "Liberal Hawke rejects extremist claims". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  16. "PM defends Liberal Hawke's preselection". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  17. McKenny, Sean Nicholls and Leesha (11 February 2010). "Wedding bells for a Sydney convert". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  18. Crawford, Barclay. "Liberal dose of damage". The Daily Telegraph.
  19. Green, Antony (21 December 2007). "Mitchell". Australia votes 2007. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  20. "Social Security and Veterans' Affairs Legislation amendment (Enhanced Allowances) Bill 2008" (PDF). Hansard – Australian House of Representatives. Parliament of Australia. 2: 2008: 949. 20 February 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  21. Green, Antony (7 September 2010). "Mitchell". Australia votes 2010. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  22. "Conscience vote on the cards for gay marriage". The Australian.
  23. "Mitchell MP Alex Hawke given key economic role in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's new ministry". Hills Shire Times. 21 September 2015.
  24. "The rise of the next generation of factional leaders". Australian Financial Review. 23 August 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  25. Crowe, David (16 August 2019). "Christian. Conservative. Ordinary. Cunning too. Scott Morrison's plan to become PM". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  26. editor, Katharine Murphy Political (1 July 2019). "Dutton's Keystone Cops and Morrison's prayer: five key moments from Niki Savva's book". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 April 2020.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  27. "Same Sex Marriage | Alex Hawke - Federal Member for Mitchell". Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  28. Henderson, political reporter Anna (8 December 2017). "This is how everyone voted – and didn't vote – on same-sex marriage". ABC News. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  29. Staff, T. S. I. "Australia and the Pacific: Their prosperity is our prosperity - Alex Hawke". The Sydney Institute. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  30. "Joint media release with the Hon Alex Hawke MP - Deeper cultural ties with the Pacific".
  31. Doherty, Ben (19 November 2019). "Australia's overseas aid set for shake-up as Pacific power balance shifts". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  32. "Alex Hawke deflects Tuvalu's calls for Australian climate action". ABC Radio National. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  33. Lyons, Kate (2 December 2019). "Q&A: former Tuvalu PM says Scott Morrison denies climate change is happening in Pacific". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  34. "Action on Climate Change, Not an Enormous Tax | Alex Hawke - Federal Member for Mitchell". Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  35. "Climate Change | Alex Hawke - Federal Member for Mitchell". Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  36. "Coalition exposed on climate change, minister admits". Australian Financial Review. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  37. timothyrhaslett. "Family man and Hillsong Christian Alex Hawke". Tim Haslett's Blog. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  38. "PM says laws to discriminate already exist". Financial Review. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  39. "PM says discrimination exemptions 'already existed'". NewsComAu. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  40. "Alex Hawke says there's nothing controversial in expelling gay students | OUTInPerth – LGBTIQ News and Culture". Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  41. "Half a million dollars of taxpayers' money pushed to Liberal party donor". 2GB. 26 September 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  42. "Zion settles with Buzzfeed over lawsuit". Sprinter. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  43. "Liberal politician accuses first female Muslim MP of thinking 'her diversity is better than others'". SBS News. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  44. Murphy, Jo Casamento and Damien (24 January 2013). "Dawson appointed NRL's anti-bullying ambassador". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  45. "The Australian Political Exchange Council Report 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13" (PDF).
  46. "Alex Hawke: Yet another Liberal MP under citizenship cloud". Queensland Times. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  47. Remeikis, Amy (5 November 2017). "Coalition MPs say citizenship audit could create 'witch hunt'". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  48. corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra. "Hon Alex Hawke MP". Retrieved 12 April 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Alan Cadman
Member for Mitchell
Political offices
Preceded by
Mathias Cormann
Special Minister of State
Preceded by
as Assistant Minister to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs
Succeeded by
Linda Reynolds
Preceded by
James McGrath
Assistant Minister to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Succeeded by
as Assistant Minister for Home Affairs
Preceded by
Kelly O'Dwyer
Assistant Minister to the Treasurer
Succeeded by
Michael Sukkar
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