Diary Australiarss


29 August 2015

We’re off to see Tony Abbott launch When We Were Young and Foolish, Greg Sheridan’s new book. How a pair of university students managed to get themselves invited is beyond… Read more

Nottingham diary

22 August 2015

There are few things better than a week off work, flying to the far side of the world to watch Test cricket. After 40-odd summers enjoying the game at the… Read more


8 August 2015

We arrive in London on a glorious morning (Scout’s honour) with Londoners in a mild state of preparation and celebration, for mild is the human condition Londoners do best. Perhaps… Read more

Downing Street diary

1 August 2015

Ridiculously premature talk of Prime Ministerial succession, commentary by John Howard on the need to secure national borders and a debate on cultural bias inside the national broadcaster – Australia,… Read more

Austin diary

25 July 2015

Visiting accountant turned property investor Kate Braybrook and building tradie husband Mark, who have relocated from Melbourne. Looked at 20 growing US cities before picking Austin, capital of Texas. ‘It’s… Read more

Royal diary

18 July 2015

The first time I met the Queen, I was eight years old and she was visiting my school, in Brentwood, a pleasant English country town now infamous for its noxious… Read more


27 June 2015

The last Parliamentary fortnight before the winter recess begins with the focus on national security, amid claims that the Abbott Government has bribed people smugglers to keep them away from… Read more

Tajikistan diary

20 June 2015

Talking politics in Central Asia is often unwise, so I try to bring it up casually. ‘Oh you won’t believe this,’ my friend Maha squeals. ‘I know him! He’s such… Read more

Catalan Diary

13 June 2015

Before there was Nineteen Eighty- Four and Animal Farm, there was Homage to Catalonia written by George Orwell in 1938. It is an account of his time in the Spanish… Read more

Australian diary

6 June 2015

I land six weeks after the Israeli elections and only a few days ahead of the British ones. Jerusalem’s political class is still frantically negotiating the formation of a coalition,… Read more

Gemma, newest member of the ERC

Budget Diary

30 May 2015

There was a big story last week. It involved ministers, the media and the long arm of the law. Coverage was global as the public awaited news of the protagonists’… Read more

Australian Diary

23 May 2015

At the end of the week of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s second Federal Budget, I recalled the caustic observation about the current state of play in Russia: ‘The main problem in… Read more

Budget diary

16 May 2015

Just under two weeks until Budget. The office inbox is flooded with the first anti Budget campaign. Campaign tactics are simple. Enlist people to email, text and write to MPs… Read more

Australian diary

9 May 2015

Veteran Canberra hand Laurie Oakes’ prediction of an early federal election was so qualified as to be the political equivalent of backing the full Melbourne Cup card. If the Budget… Read more

Anzac Diary

2 May 2015

I am writing this diary from the Opera, not the theatrical sort, we are on a cruise ship anchored for the past four days off the Gallipoli peninsula. On board… Read more

Hong Kong diary

After a year of living in Sydney, the smog in Hong Kong is a shock. I do not see even a glimpse of sunshine – just a wet, sickly haze.… Read more

Australian diary

18 April 2015

My bladder is still fighting the NSW State Election. It is 5am and for the past six weeks this has been the start of my day, a time to scan… Read more

Pollie Pedal diary

11 April 2015

The twin-engine turbo-prop lands in a downpour, skidding to a halt outside the terminal. ‘We haven’t seen rain like this in Burnie for 18 months,’ the taxi driver tells me.… Read more


4 April 2015

I have added a few days onto a London trip to visit my mum in South Wales, and as I cross the Severn estuary I find myself wondering, as I… Read more

Election diary

28 March 2015

It’s just six days before the Israeli elections. Bibi versus Buji and Tzipi. Labor’s Isaac ‘Buji’ Herzog and Hatnuah’s Tzipora ‘Tzipi’ Livni are running together on the Zionist Union ticket… Read more


21 March 2015

By the time the audience hear Lateline’s newly remixed opening song begin to play on Monday night, the show has been off the air for 13 weeks. During that long… Read more


14 March 2015

After I fell off my chair again, it was time to get ready for the launch of the Intergenerational Report (IGR). As I re-read the IGR, it did strike me… Read more

Vietnamese Diary

7 March 2015

I had been loitering around some dreadlocked types, working up the courage to join the conversation, when the people smuggler sat down next to me. Actually, that might not be… Read more

Diarist’s Diary

28 February 2015

‘At a certain point, you go, there’s a human-being here and you would think this must be incredibly bruising.’ Greg San Miguel is looking at me intently, trying to decide… Read more

Australian diary

21 February 2015

I blame the BBQ ribs. Rowan Dean, Peter Van Onselen, Troy Bramston and I had just finished a great dinner at a steakhouse close to Sky News’ studios. Over the… Read more