Kevin Rudd and Kerry O'Brien
Kevin Rudd’s time as Prime Minister was short, tumultuous and, at times, momentous. Rising to power in 2007 on a wave of popular optimism, Rudd defeated a formidable opponent in John Howard and ushered in an era of Labor rule and extensive reform.
Perhaps the most globally ambitious of recent Australian Prime Ministers, Rudd's legacy is linked most strongly with his landmark apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008 and his successful steering of the economy through the Global Financial Crisis. His leadership is also associated with an era of bitter internal party turmoil.
Much has been said and written about Australia’s 26th Prime Minister. In this conversation with Kerry O'Brien, hear Kevin Rudd speak for himself about his motivations, beliefs and decisions – before, during and after the Australian prime ministership.
Kevin Rudd served as Australia's 26th Prime Minister (2007-10, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010-12). Since 2014, he has been President of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York.
In office, Mr Rudd led Australia's response to the Global Financial Crisis, reviewed as the most effective policy in the developed world. Australia was the only developed country to avoid recession. His government also ratified the Kyoto Protocol, apologised to Indigenous Australians, implemented a mandatory renewable energy target, delivered the national school curriculum, negotiated major reform of the health system, introduced national paid parental leave, and pursued the world's first plain-packaging regime for tobacco. He is the author of two memoirs, Not for the Faint-Hearted and The PM Years.
Kerry O'Brien is one of Australia's most respected journalists, with six Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley and the Walkley for outstanding leadership in journalism.
In a career spanning more than fifty years, Kerry has worked for newspapers, television and a wire service, and as a foreign correspondent. Thirty-three of those years were at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation where he cut his teeth on the trail-blazing current affairs programs This Day Tonight and Four Corners. He was the inaugural presenter of Lateline for six years, the editor and presenter of 7.30 for fifteen years, and the presenter of Four Corners for five.