Bill Hayden farewelled at state funeral in Ipswich

November 3, 2023 12:52 pm in by
Photo: Bill Hayden and wife Dallas with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the launch of Oxley MP Milton Dick's election campaign in 2016. Supplied.

Hundreds have gathered to farewell former Labor leader and Governor General Bill Hayden.

Mr Hayden passed away in Ipswich Hospital, aged 90 on October 21.

A state funeral to honour the life and legacy of Mr Hayden was held at St Mary’s Church in Ipswich at around 11 this morning.

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The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Paul Keating, Wayne Swan and Pauline Hanson were among dignitaries to have attended the service.

Meanwhile, Federal Oxley MP Milton Dick has paid tribute to the Honourable Bill Hayden who was also the former Oxley MP.

“He will always be remembered as the best Member for Oxley because he was a true community champion.

“He listened to his constituents, he advocated for them and delivered for them as well,” he said.

“Of course not only as a local Federal MP but also Bill Hayden is remembered across our country as the ‘father of Medicare’.

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“We have one of the best universal health care systems in the World and that is in no small part to the work and effort of Bill Hayden,” Mr Dick said.

“He first delivered Medicare treatment and universal health as Social Services Minister in the Whitlam Government before it turned into Medicare, which we know, love and is so respected by millions of Australians,” he said.

The Federal Blair MP Shayne Neumann has described Bill Hayden as his ‘hero’ and ‘mentor’.

“He would ring me up from time to time and say “it’s Bill Hayden here Shayne’ and raise all manner of questions with me.

“This is proceeding the time of his stroke and to some extent afterwards, he would ring me up and offer his advice on Australia’s relations with Vietnam, issues with fishing in Italy, climate change in Spain and whether the NRL Rugby League players had a decent workers compensation scheme to compensate them for their injuries,” he said.

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“He had views on nearly everything and would offer them and I would greatly appreciate it,” he said.


In 1957, Bill Hayden was transferred to Redbank as a police officer.

It was here he married a local coal miners daughter by the name of ‘Dallas’.

He left the police force and entered federal politics in 1961, winning the seat of Oxley for Labor at 28 years old.

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He held the seat for 27 years and served in both the Whitlam and Hawke governments.

In 1989, Mr Hayden became Australia’s 21st Governor-General for seven years.

Mr Hayden lived in Brassall in Ipswich for many years before later moving to Brighton near Somerset Dam to a cattle property that he and his family ran together.