HAZEL Hawke, the much-admired ex-wife of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, has passed away aged 83.

Mrs Hawke is reported to have died from complications arising from her battle with dementia.

Her passing has prompted a wave of tributes from national figures from all sides of politics, such as NSW Liberal Premier, Barry O'Farrell, who described her as "a great Australian".

Governor General Quentin Bryce described Mrs Hawke as "gutsy and compassionate".

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Mrs Hawke's efforts to serve the Australian community continued even after her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in 2001.

A private funeral was expected to be held for Mrs Hawke, with a NineMSN reporting a public memorial was likely "in three or four weeks".

NineMSN has also quoted a close friend of Mrs Hawke's, Wendy McCarthy, suggesting anyone wanting to honour Mrs Hawke's memory should donate to Alzheimer's Australia.


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