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The pain at the heart of Bob Hawke’s contested legacy

“The family’s estate is the family’s private business,” she said at the pub, adding it would be “foolish” to allow the scandal to tarnish her father’s legacy.

Under the terms of that estate Mr Hawke’s three surviving children and Louis Pratt, the son of Blanche d’Alpuget, Bob Hawke’s second wife, were each to receive a payout of about $750,000, while Ms d’Alpuget received the rest, including the $14.5 million proceeds of the sale of the couple’s home.

Ms d’Alpuget raised another $671,000 from the sale of Mr Hawke’s personal effects at Paddington RSL earlier this year, a sale that contributed further to the family rift. In court documents obtained by The New Daily, Ms Dillon’s son Paul sent a text to Ms d’Alpuget saying, “Blanche, are you kidding with this auction? Selling all the Harry Bilsons? No thought to ask the family to take furniture or anything?!!

“Don’t you have a limit?”

According to the documents, Ms d’Alpuget responded that she found the text to be threatening.

Louis Pratt the son of Blanche d'Alpuget, Bob Hawke's second wife, joined Sophie Taylor-Price, the granddaughter of the late prime minister, at the launch of Hawke's IPA Legacy at The Clock Hotel in Sydney.

Louis Pratt the son of Blanche d’Alpuget, Bob Hawke’s second wife, joined Sophie Taylor-Price, the granddaughter of the late prime minister, at the launch of Hawke’s IPA Legacy at The Clock Hotel in Sydney.Credit:AAP

Mr Pratt, who was also at the pub, told reporters that it would have been “out of character” for Mr Hawke not to have come to his daughter’s defence.

“He fought for everyone. I know he loved [Rosslyn] dearly, she was his favourite,” he said.

Ms Dillon, who suffers from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia is dependent on welfare, subsists on a gross monthly income of $1852.40 and is seeking a further $4 million from the estate, according to the affidavit seen by The New Daily.

In the affidavit, Ms Dillon claims that in 1983 she was raped three times by Bill Landeryou, then a Victorian MP and powerbroker who had provided crucial early support to Mr Hawke.

According to the affidavit Mr Hawke had secured Ms Dillon’s job in Mr Landeryou’s office.

When she told her father about the alleged assaults, he said, “You can’t go to the police. You can’t. I can’t have any controversies right now. I am sorry but I am challenging for the leadership of the Labor Party,” according to The New Daily’s report.

In that report, Ms Pieters-Hawke said Ms Dillon had confided in her at the time and she believed there had been a “sensitive response” to the allegations  which did not “involve using the legal system”.

Soon after Mr Hawke became prime minister in 1983 Mr Landeryou’s dominance in Victorian Labor began to wither.

“In 1983, Mr Landeryou was 41. He already had a successful national union career behind him and a handful of years in the Legislative Council under his seemingly ever-expanding belt. Then … it came to an end,” an Age reporter wrote in 1991.

In August 1983 the then Victorian premier John Cain ordered Mr Landeryou to stand down from his ministerial position over a conflict of interest. The following year he sought and failed to win federal pre-selection.


Mr Cain told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Monday he had never heard of the allegations.

A source close to the Landeryou family said they had never heard the allegations. Neither Ms d’Alpuget nor a swag of present and former Labor luminaries, including Labor leader Anthony Albanese, would comment.

In her affidavit Ms Dillon said, “I thought to myself I could not make any bigger sacrifice to the (my father’s) political career if I had tried.

“He asked me to let the matter go for him and I did so for him.

“I am still haunted by the sexual assaults. I feel that I may have had a chance to get over these rapes if I was able to report the incidents to police.”

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