The Fifth Estate

The Wheeler Centre

Arts, Literature, Government & Organizations, News & Politics, Society & Culture, Technology

The Fifth Estate responds to the most important stories of the day and reignites those that have fallen off the front pages.


The Prime Ministers' Chiefs

October 5th, 2014

Episode 55 of 83 episodes

The prime minister’s chief of staff has a unique role in Australian political culture. With immeasurable influence – some much more than others – as confidantes, mediators, gatekeepers and advisors, the chief of staff steers the prime minister through the challenges and landmines of leadership, fine tuning and coordinating the things that matter to help win the support of cabinet, caucus and country. What makes a great chief of staff? What are the challenges, pressures and principles that occupy their time? And what matters most in this powerful behind-the-scenes role? Prime Minister Tony Abbott calls his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, ‘the boss’. Kevin Rudd’s chief of staff, Alister Jordan, was referred to as ‘the wunderkind’, not always kindly. Join Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft with Anne Tiernan, associate professor at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University, and David Epstein, the first chief of staff to Prime Minister Rudd, to discuss the chiefs, past and present, and this singular job in the national capital. Podcast Missed out? Listen to the podcast: mp3 (62m15s, 29.9mb). The Fifth Estate Since 2012, anthropologist and broadcaster Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor. Her fortnightly live interview series continues as she reacts to the latest stories whipping up a storm in the media. Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the political and cultural world, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to the events – check our website for updates. 2014 events (all available via podcast on our website) have included Malcolm Fraser on Australia’s dangerous alliance with the US, Bob Carr on the culture of government, international whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack, and Anne Summers and Mary Delahunty on women, power and politics.

Featured Podcast