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Sam Dastyari

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Senator Sam Dastyari is among the youngest politicians in Canberra, but in just a few years, he’s attracted more attention than many politicians garner over their entire careers. The combination of compelling backstory – told in his new book, One Halal of a Story – and industrial-strength audacity has meant he’s never far from the limelight.

Dastyari was born in Iran to student activists and arrived in Australia aged four. He joined the ALP shadow cabinet in his early 30s and quickly rose to prominence in the media too, especially for his campaign against corporate tax avoidance. In 2016, however, he resigned from the Labor frontbench after it was revealed he’d allowed a Chinese-linked company to pay a travel bill. In a radical move, Dastyari now calls for a blanket ban on political donations.

At this Fifth Estate session, Sally Warhaft meets a controversial figure in Australian politics. They talk about the inner workings of Parliament House, multiculturalism, memoir and more.

Photo of Sally Warhaft and Sam Dastyari

Sally Warhaft and Sam Dastyari — Photo: Sophie Quick

Who?

Portrait of Sam Dastyari

Sam Dastyari

Sam Dastyari was born in Iran to student activists and arrived in Australia aged four. He has worked with Hawker Britton and served as General Secretary of New South Wales Labor. He was appointed to the Senate in 2013, promoted to the shadow outer ministry in 2016, and became the manager of opposition business in the Senate and spokesperson for consumer affairs. He is currently a backbencher and lives in Sydney with his wife and two daughters.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth year. 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.

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.