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The Fifth Estate

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Kerry O'Brien

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Photo of Sally Warhaft and Kerry O'Brien

Sally Warhaft and Kerry O'Brien — Photo: Jon Tjhia

Photo of Kerry O'Brien

Kerry O'Brien at the Wheeler Centre — Photo: Jon Tjhia

We absolutely cannot make any assumptions about the future of democracy in this country.’

Kerry O'Brien, in conversation with Sally Warhaft

He’s interviewed Nelson Mandela, David Bowie, Margaret Thatcher, Herbie Hancock and Mikhail Gorbachev. As a journalist, he’s watched 13 Australian prime ministers come and go and he’s personally interrogated most of them, live on The 7.30 Report. Kerry O’Brien is a singular figure in Australian journalism – a broadcast journalist, foreign correspondent, columnist and feature writer – who has interviewed some of the most influential Australian and global figures, across politics, art and sport over a career of 50 years.

In Kerry O’Brien: A Memoir he shares behind-the-scenes tales of talks with the likes of Tony Blair and the Dalai Lama as well as his insights on the social, political and media upheavals he’s witnessed up close.

Appearing in conversation with Sally Warhaft, O’Brien talks about what he’s learned from grilling the great, the good and the not-so-good over five decades.

Who?

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Kerry O'Brien

Kerry O'Brien

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.

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.