October 23, 2023
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Hon Bill Hayden, a former Foreign Minister in the Hawke Government, ALP leader and Governor General.

Bill Hayden with Palestinian refugee nurses from Gaza, 1985. L-R Taman, Mr Hayden and Souad Ayesh.

Mr Hayden was a sincere and generous friend of APHEDA. His childhood, like so many of the trade union leaders of his time, was lived in poverty. He, like former ACTU President Cliff Dolan and Tas Bull (Former Chairs of APHEDA) had a deep understanding of the hardships and deprivations faced by millions of the world’s poor.

During his years as Foreign Minister from 1983 to 1988 he strongly supported APHEDA’s work, especially with the Palestinians. He supported a grant of $250,000, a sizeable amount in 1984, to help train nurses and other workers following the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Israel and the massacres of Palestinian refugees. As we see now, that war left Palestinian refugees homeless and desperately in need of income generation skills.
He was the guest speaker at our first Annual Dinner in 1985. He also generously met with the first Palestinian refugee nurses to come to Australia to undertake community nursing training, much needed in the camps, especially for mothers with babies and the elderly.
Mr Hayden, aware of APHEDAs role in the African National Congress Support Committee, encouraged us to set up a similar Cambodian Support Committee to raise public awareness of the plight of the Cambodian people following their horrific genocide in the years between 1975 and 1979.
He was a dedicated and widely respected Foreign Affairs Minister also overseeing considerable growth and reform of the Australian international development assistance program during his time in the role.
Sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Vale Mr Hayden
Dr Helen McCue AM
Co-Founder of Union Aid Abroad APHEDA

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