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David Leser is one of Australia’s most highly respected journalists and public interviewers.
His greatest inspiration was his father, Bernard Leser, founder of Australian Vogue and former President of Conde Nast International.
Born in Montreal, David began his career in 1979 on the Sydney Daily Telegraph before moving to the United States where he worked on the Times Picayune newspaper in New Orleans; then as Washington D.C correspondent for the Newhouse News Service.
Following his stint in the United States he was based in Jerusalem as Middle Eastern correspondent for the South China Morning Post before working as a staff feature writer for the Australian, HQ magazine and the Bulletin.
From 1994 to 2000, he was a senior writer for Good Weekend magazine, nominated four times for the Walkley Award, winning it in 1998 for his ground-breaking profile: Who’s Afraid of Alan Jones? He also won two Australian Society of Magazine awards for feature writing, together with Austcare’s all-media category award for his coverage of social issues.
In 2000, David was appointed Writer-at-large for the Australian Women’s Weekly and immediately secured a world exclusive with Anna Murdoch, former wife of Rupert Murdoch. During his decade with the Weekly David won the Magazine Publishers’ Association `Story of the Year’ award and a special commendation from the United Nations for his coverage of refugee issues.
David is the author of six books, including his memoir, To Begin To Know: Walking in the Shadows of My Father, which was shortlisted for the 2015 National Biography Award. “His candour and depth of feeling is at various times head-shakingly admirable, laugh-out-loud funny and, when he’s really touching the source, universally connecting,” wrote The Australian’s Trent Dalton.
David is also the author of A View From the Lake: The Egon Zehnder Story, a history of the world’s most successful executive search firm (2014), as well as executive producer of the 2012 award-winning Australian documentary, Paul Kelly: Stories of Me.
David has been an in-demand public interviewer for 15 years. His list of celebrated interviews include: Irina Baronova, Bob Brown, Jennifer Byrne, Andrew Denton, Stephanie Dowrick, Margaret Fink, Malcolm Fraser, Helen Garner, Peter Garrett, Paul Kelly, Michael Leunig, David Marr, John Marsden, Kerry O’Brien, Geoffrey Robertson and Don Watson.