A Hawkei is an Australian next-generation light four-wheel-drive protected armoured patrol vehicle manufactured by Australians at the Bendigo facility of defence company, Thales Australia, also the manufacturer of the Bushmaster vehicle.
The name Hawkei comes from a death adder snake found in Northern Australia.
In 2022, the Australian Government showed its support for Ukraine in the conflict by sending a number of Bushmaster military vehicles to the front lines. The Ukrainian Government has since asked Australia to send up to 90 Hawkei vehicles, but not one has left the Bendigo factory bound for Ukraine.
This will be the first major conflict in which the Hawkei vehicles can be tested, which would provide valuable information about their capabilities and areas of improvement back to Australia. From this perspective, it’s a win-win.
The inspiration for this campaign comes from the #FreeTheLeopards campaign that was staged in Europe in early 2023. This campaign changed the minds of European defence ministers, resulting in significant numbers of Leopard tanks and other protected vehicles being sent to the front lines in Ukraine. #FreeTheLeopards saw numerous demonstrations held by people around Europe and the world, creating a groundswell of grass-roots support that put pressure on politicians resulting in the release of the Leopards.
It’s time to tell the Australian Government to #FreeTheHawkei.
#FreeTheHawkei protests will take place on Saturday 29 April 2023 at major locations around Australia and France. With the Federal Budget on 9 May, and the Coronation of King Charles III on 6 May, this is the last Saturday before these major events on which our voices can be heard.
Raise your voice and shout #FreeTheHawkei – let’s influence the Australian Government to release the Hawkeis.
It’s time to unleash the power of the Hawkei on the Ukrainian front lines!
WHEN: Saturday 29 April, 11am WHERE: Thales Australia, North Bendigo TRANSPORT: A free bus will be departing Ukrainian Community Centre Essendon (3-11 Russell St, Essendon VIC) at 8am on the 29th. Registrations through: https://forms.gle/jGfyEthwawiHgyi5A