HE'S BACK: Kerry O'Brien with his 2016 book Keating.
HE'S BACK: Kerry O'Brien with his 2016 book Keating. Lyn McCarthy

Award-winning journo to share his stories

WALKLEY award-winning ABC journalist Kerry O'Brien reflects on social and political upheavals in his upcoming memoir, to be published by Allen and Unwin.

Born in Brisbane, O'Brien, 73, moved to the Byron Shire with his family some years ago.

He is one of few Australian journalists to came face to face with the people that shaped last century and this one at a global level.

Whether strolling the history-laden corridors of the White House unhindered while waiting to interview Barack Obama, or talking with Nelson Mandela on his first day in the presidential residence in Pretoria in a room filled with the blood-soaked ghosts of apartheid, or receiving a haughty rebuke from an indignantly regal Margaret Thatcher, or exploring ideas with some of the great artists, philosophers and scientists of our time, O'Brien has sought to unearth the truth behind the news.

Cover art for journalist Kerry O'Brien's 2018 memoir.
Cover art for journalist Kerry O'Brien's 2018 memoir. Allen and Unwin

In Australia, he served as press secretary to Labor leader Gough Whitlam, and has watched 13 prime ministers come and go.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, the professional broadcaster worked for newspapers, television, wire services and as a foreign correspondent.

Thirty-three of those years were at the ABC, 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 15 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.

  • At the Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay, on Sunday, November 11, from 6.30pm. For details visit byronwritersfestival.com.