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Kerry O'Brien: A Memoir


Kerry O'Brien

The Edge, State Library of Queensland

Conversation

8122

#Performances


#About the event


#Artist

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 andFour 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. His acclaimed four-part interview series with Paul Keating was broadcast on the ABC in 2013, followed by his best-selling book, Keating, published in 2015. O'Brien has specialised in national politics for the ABC as well as the Seven and Ten television networks, and was a press secretary to Labor leader Gough Whitlam. He has honorary doctorates from the University of Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology.

#Moderator

Peter Greste

Peter Greste

Professor Peter Greste is an Australian-born journalist, author, media freedom activist and academic. He is a founding member of the advocacy group, the Alliance for Journalists Freedom, and the UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication at the University of Queensland. He is also a regular contributor to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Conversation, and The Guardian. Before joining the university in January 2018, he spent 25 years as a foreign correspondent, starting with the civil war in Yugoslavia and elections in South Africa as a freelance reporter in the early 90’s, before joining the BBC as its Afghanistan correspondent in 1995. He went on to cover Latin America, the Middle East and Africa for the BBC.

In 2011 he won a Peabody Award for a BBC documentary on Somalia before joining Al Jazeera as its East Africa correspondent later that year. In December 2013 he was covering Egypt on a short three-week assignment when he was arrested on terrorism charges. After a trial widely dismissed as a sham, he was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison. In February the following year, after 400 days behind bars, and intense international campaign, he was deported under a presidential decree. As a result of the letters he wrote from prison in the defense of freedom of the press, he won a Walkley Award in Australia in 2014, and Royal Television Society and Tribeca Disruptive Innovator’s Awards in 2015.

He has also been awarded the International Association of Press Clubs’ Freedom of Speech Award; Liberty Victoria’s “Voltaire Award”, the Australian Human Rights Commission Medal (all in 2015), the RSL’s 2016 ANZAC Peace Prize, and the Australian Press Council’s 2018 Press Freedom award.


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