Speakers Profile - The Hon Malcolm Turnbull


Former Australian Prime Minister 2015-2018









Travels From:
Sydney

Fee Range: E


While studying at Sydney University the Hon Malcolm worked as a journalist and continued doing so when he studied at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.

It was during that time at Oxford that Mr Turnbull met and was hired by Harold Evans, the editor of London’s Sunday Times newspaper.

After his time at Oxford, where he married his wife Lucy Hughes, Mr Turnbull returned to Australia and practiced law where he quickly established a reputation as an effective advocate, most notably when he successfully defended former MI5 agent Peter Wright against the British Government, in the “Spycatcher” trial.

Mr Turnbull established an investment banking firm in 1987 and during that time specialised in the media and technology sectors. He worked with some of the leading media moguls of the time including Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer, Conrad Black and Bob Maxwell and at the same time established a number of new businesses of his own.

He co-founded the first big Australian Internet company, OzEmail Ltd, listing it on the NASDAQ in 1996 and selling it to Worldcom three years later.

Mr Turnbull joined Goldman Sachs in 1997 becoming a partner of the firm the following year and headed their Australian business for four years until he retired to pursue a political career.

He entered the House of Representatives in 2004 and during that time served as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Minister for Communications and from 2015 to 2018, Prime Minister.

During his time as Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull delivered strong economic growth, record jobs growth and at the same time reduced both corporate and personal income taxes.

In terms of social policy his Government legalised same sex marriage and reformed federal schools funding to be fair, consistent and needs based across the nation and across school sectors.

He successfully negotiated with President Trump to maintain a refugee resettlement deal he had agreed with President Obama and to ensure Australia was not hit with tarff's or quotas on its steel and aluminum exports to the US.

When Trump pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Mr Turnbull refused to allow that 12 nation free trade deal to fall by the wayside and he rallied the remaining eleven countries to commit to a continuing TPP-11. At the same time, resisting the rising tide of protectionism, he also secured free trade agreements with Indonesia, Peru and Singapore.

Throughout his political career Mr Turnbull has been a strong environmental advocate. He designed and delivered the National Plan for Water Security in 2007 - a global benchmark for water management. He has supported the rollout of renewable energy and recognised before most the urgent need for large scale storage to make intermittent renewables reliable. He started the construction of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped hydro scheme which will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and has also identified the opportunity for similar pumped storage systems elsewhere in Australia including in Tasmania.

He radically reformed the way the Australian federal Government deals with states and cities, establishing a series of City Deals where the three levels of Government agree on common goals and then work together to realise them. As part of the Western Sydney City Deal he commenced construction of a new Airport for Sydney.