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Crabb and Marr: Power and Personality


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Flashback to pre-election 2010: Malcolm Turnbull, the recently ditched Liberal Party leader, was unsure if he’d stand again for the seat of Wentworth. Meanwhile, Bill Shorten was among the first-term ‘faceless men’ who’d removed a sitting Labor Prime Minister and installed another.

A week is a long time in politics, but six years is an eternity. Today, Turnbull and Shorten are the dominant figures on the political landscape. In this discussion at the Athenaeum Theatre, we’ll have two of the sharpest minds in Australian journalism – Annabel Crabb and David Marr –  talking two of the most powerful men in Australia: Turnbull and Shorten.

Marr’s incisive 2015 Quarterly Essay, ‘Faction Man’, traced Shorten’s career as a formidable campaigner, recruiter and Labor warrior to factional heavy and eventual leader. Crabb has drawn on extensive interviews with Turnbull himself for her new book, Stop at Nothing, which details his past lives and adventures, as well as the challenges he’s faced from within the Liberal Party. If anyone can shed light on these fascinating and powerful figures, and their recent political manoeuvres, it’s these two writers.

Join Marr and Crabb for a conversation about political personalities and the will to power.


Annabel Crabb

Annabel Crabb is a South Australian-born writer and television presenter who as a university student paid full price for Cosmo Cosmolino in 1992, breaking a solid habit of waiting for new books to arrive at the library. She completed a law degree but never became a lawyer. Annabel has been a journal... Read more

David Marr

David Marr is the author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic, The High Price of Heaven and Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson). He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Saturday Paper, the Guardian and the Monthly, and been editor... Read more


Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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