The chapter relates an incident involving student misbehaviour at University House, Australian National University, in February 1957 involving a graduate student, Bob Hawke, later Australia’s prime minister between 1983 and 1991. That a drunken Hawke had swum naked in the University House lily pond and abused visiting bishops became widely believed. Though directly contradicted by the minutes of a disciplinary committee chaired by the Vice Chancellor, many including Hawke have revelled in the larrikin flavour of the story. The account concludes with reflections on the limited power of documentary evidence to undermine a myth, particularly in Australia.
Australian National University