The Wheeler Centre
View all episodes in this series
Paul Keating and Kerry O'Brien
In 2013, ABC TV screened Paul Keating - The Interviews, a revealing four-part series on the life and career of the former prime minister, resulting from many hours of conversation with veteran journalist Kerry O’Brien. The material left on the cutting-room floor would have been enough to make any Australian political journalist weep. Keating is one Australia’s most intriguing, controversial and reforming political figures. O’Brien is among our most experienced and incisive political journalists.
Fortunately, O’Brien has been able to build on the material from the 2013 interviews to write a comprehensive and thrilling book on Keating’s significant impact on Australian public life, with Keating’s cooperation. The pair join us for an extended discussion of the life and legacy of one of Australia’s most fascinating political figures.
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.
Paul Keating was prime minister of Australia from 1991 to 1996.
Keating became prime minister in December 1991 and led the ALP to an historic fifth term of Government in March 1993. As prime minister, he continued his progressive reform program, which included the establishment of a National Training Authority, a national superannuation scheme to redress low national savings and labour market and training reforms which addressed Australia’s long-term unemployment problems.
Other key achievements of the Keating Government included the review of the Sex Discrimination Act, the historic Mabo legislation recognising the land rights of Australia’s Indigenous people and the introduction of legislation ensuring protection of endangered species.
Following the defeat of the ALP in March 1996, Mr Keating resigned from Parliament. He continues to take a close interest in the national issues with which he was associated in public life. Mr Keating has been awarded Honorary Doctorates in Laws from both Keio University in Tokyo and the National University of Singapore.