Rupert Hamer Statue
Public Art : Rupert Hamer Statue
Sculptor : © Peter Corlett
Date : Unknown
Description : A Bronze life size statue of the 39th
Premier of Victoria, Rupert Hamer. Which features the occassional indiscretions of a pigeon or two.
Location : Outside and facing the Government building
at 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne, Australia.
History of the Rupert Hamer Statue :
Former Premier, Jeff kennett, was responsible for the series of four Victorian Premier statues outside 1
Treasury Place. The statues being of John Cain Jr, Rupert Hamer, Henry Bolte and Albert Dunstan who were all post-World War II era former Victorian Premiers and had all
served more than 3,000 days in office. Whilst in office Jeff Kennett chose the magical number of 3,000 to be
reached before any Victorian Premier would be rewarded with a bronze statue in his or her likeness.
Unfortunately for Jeff and his predicessor, Steve Bracks, both failed by a whisker to be immortalised in
History of Rupert Hamer : Rupert Hamer (1916-2004)
also known as Dick Hamer, was the 39th Premier of Victoria from 1972-1981. When long serving Premier Henry Bolte
retired in 1972 Hamer succeeded him as Liberal leader and Premier, much to the displeasure of some members of the
Party. Under the slogan "Hamer makes it happen" Hamer pushed to modernise and liberalise government in Victoria.
Among his reformists policies were tightening environmetal protection laws, abolishing death penalty, giving
Aboriginal communities ownership of their land, decriminalising abortion & homosexuality. Unfortunately, by
1979 all was not well in the State of Victoria, with rising unemployment and industrial unrest. The Labor Pary were
threatening the long standing Liberal Party dominance. In the 1979 elections, Hamer just scrapped in to retain his
leadership as Premier. But the Party were not happy and began to undermine his postion. In 1981, Hamer resigned,
having realised he had lost support from his party. Ironically, the Liberal Party was defeated in the State
elections for the first time in 27 years.
Following his retirement, he continued to be active in the community, becoming chairman of the Victorian
State Opera , president of the Victorian College of the Arts and a patron of the Public Transport Users
On the 23rd of March, 2004, Hamer died in his sleep. Fittingly he was given a State Funeral.
Barry Jones describe him as "the finest flower in the Victorian Deakinite tradition."