Speakers Profile - Colin McLaren

Travels From:

Colin McLaren is the subject of a film being produced in Australia, of his life. In particular, the film follows the back chapters of his hugely successful first book: 'Infiltration', the true story of his efforts as the undercover cop who infiltrated the Mafia. The book has won high praise and awards.

He followed this success with 'On the Run' a critically acclaimed novel about an undercover cop that is chased around the globe by a mafia hit-man! This work has been adapted to a screenplay with strong international interest. His next book, 'Sunflower' is an historical work of one of Australia's longest serving foot soldiers from the Great War; his own grandfather. He has since written two more manuscripts (to be published from 2011), as well as three screenplays. His most recent screenplay is likened to Australia's own 'Deadwood', a gripping TV series of hard-nosed criminals, dodgy cops and tough women.

It's been a busy five years for the man that was one of Australia's most respected task force cops.

Colin joined the Police in the most volatile times in the country's history, the 1980's and 1990's; where police shot and asked questions later. He relished the tough world of street gangs and drug pushers. He moved through the ranks fast, stepping down the seedy laneways of organised crime.

In no time, he was selected to join the elite covert surveillance unit, spying on drug importers and the Mr Bigs. He then turned his hand to undercover work, buying drugs, guns and scams that sent dozens of crooks to the big-house, for that long holiday! As a suit-and-tie detective at Richmond, known locally as 'Dennis-ville', the stomping ground of Australia's most infamous mass murderer Dennis Allen, Colin was in the centre of the worst crooks of his time. He worked on, charged and/or goaled most the underworld figures of that era.

Colin was on the task force into the infamous Walsh Street murders, Mr Cruel child rapes and murder, The Griffith Mafia probe and the NCA bombing and murder of a policeman. It wasn't long before Colin would stir worry among the underworld. He would suffer threats on his life, once an attempt to nail-bomb his house by Victor Pierce, who killed two constables at Walsh Street. All through Colin's career he was a single parent, raising a daughter, his 'finest achievement'.

In the twilight of his career, for two years Colin disappeared, surfacing in Griffith, in the largest covert (undercover) sting in Australia's history. Playing the role of a dodgy art dealer he befriended the Godfather and upper echelon of the Mafiosi, buying truck loads of drugs and bags of pure cocaine. At the end of a drug smuggling attempt with his Italian 'mates', each was sent to prison for up to 13 years. Colin's police life has been the focus of many television documentaries, TV mini series and the upcoming 'Infiltration' film.

After resigning from his police career he opened Villa Gusto, a unique Italian style gourmet retreat where he achieved 'chef hats' for his outstanding Italian food. He now takes gourmet tours through Italy, where he lives a good part of each year.