Speakers Profile - John Silvester

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Crime reporter and writer John Silvester has written, edited and published more than 30 crime books - including the best selling Underbelly series. His work was used as the basis for the top rating Underbelly television series on Melbourne's Gangland War.

Silvester graduated from Latrobe University in 1978 and went on to work at the Sun and the Herald Sun. He was appointed Sun police reporter in 1980, Chief Police Reporter in 1981 and was an investigate reporter from 1986-1993. He then moved to the Age, for which he still writes. He is a crime commentator on Radio 3AW as Sly of the Underworld, was awarded an AJA-ASEAN scholarship to study crime and corruption in South East Asia and a News Limited exchange to work with the London Sunday Times Insight team.

He was a Walkley Award state finalist in 1988 and 1996, a national finalist in 2003 and a winner, for best use of the medium, in 2004. He has won numerous awards at the Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards and the Victorian Law Foundation. He was awarded the Ned Kelly Award in 2000 for the Best True Crime Book (for 'Underbelly') and the 2005 Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award.

He has given evidence at criminal Royal Commissions and is regularly interviewed by the electronic media as an expert on crime in Victoria.

He is a regular speaker at police/legal functions including the Police Officers College, homicide squad, arson squad, surveillance branch, special operations group and the criminal bar association.

He also does extensive work as a speaker for corporate groups in the financial sector, major law firms, media companies and sports associations.