Former Prime Minister's son, Steve Hawke, launches novel, Barefoot Kids, at Notre Dame in Fremantle and Sydney

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 23-2-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle

Publication Place



International best selling author Tim Winton and former Midnight Oil guitarist Rob Hurst officially launched Barefoot Kids, a children’s novel by Steve Hawke, son of former Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, on the Fremantle and Sydney campuses of The University of Notre Dame Australia.

Though Mr Hawke has written history, biographies, plays and scripts, his first novel is aimed at children. Barefoot Kids is an action packed adventure story set in Broome which revolves around the Jirroo cousins – a group of musicians who start a campaign to save their local beach from developers.

Tim Winton provided a special introduction at the Fremantle launch, expressing his support for the novel.

“It was a great privilege to have Tim Winton, Western Australia’s greatest writer, launch my book at Notre Dame. It has been extremely encouraging to know I have his support with the novel,” said Mr Hawke.

Steve Hawke grew up in Melbourne, but as a teenager headed for northern Australia, settling in the Kimberley. At 19 Steve had fallen in love with the country, the people and its stories, all which provide the back drop for the Jirroo cousins’ adventures in Barefoot Kids.

The Jirroo cousins’ story was actually inspired by the famous Broome-based musical family, the Pigram brothers. Mr Hawke said this was a reason he chose the University to launch his novel, adding that the choice of his friend Rob Hurst to launch the book in Sydney was due to Mr Hurst’s long association with the Pigram brothers.

“The Pigram brothers have had a lot of involvement with the Notre Dame Broome campus which has done so much for the indigenous people in the area. I wanted to show my appreciation of the University’s work in Broome and for the Pigram brothers by launching my book on the Fremantle and Sydney Campuses,” said Mr Hawke.