McDonald’s government relations manager Tahlia Robertson was also a candidate.
The Nationals will celebrate the party’s centenary on January 22 ahead of a historical re-enactment ceremony at the Parliament of Victoria in March.
Mr Hawkes is a political journeyman, having served as Tasmanian Liberal Party state director, a press secretary in the Howard government and to opposition leaders in the ACT and Northern Territory.
He also worked in public affairs roles for the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Automobile Association.
His most recently political position was as a media adviser to Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie in her former position as sports minister.
Nationals leader Michael McCormack described the federal director’s position as a “vital role” when praising Mr Hindmarsh for reforming the party’s federal secretariat into “a very strong financial and professional operation” and overseeing the party’s successful 2019 election result.
“Ben has been a trusted adviser to The Nationals party room over the past three years, providing political and campaign guidance through challenging political times,” Mr McCormack said.
“Throughout his tenure, Ben has forged strong relationships with our state parties, the Liberal Party and our membership to prepare for and deliver a professional and coordinated national campaign which has had stunning results.”