Speakers Profile - Barry Cohen

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Barry Cohen admits that what kept him sane through thirty years as a politician, was the funny side of his profession. As a raconteur with a bower bird collection of hilarious stories about life in politics, Barry has led a post political life as a writer, speaker and commentator.

Barry Cohen is the author of eight books of which almost all have made the best-seller list. His books include: The Life of the Party (1987), After the Party (1988), How to Become Prime Minister (1990), Life With Gough (1996), Whitlam to Winston (1997), The Yartz (2000), What About the Workers (2001), and The Almost Complete Gough (2001)

In 1969 Barry Cohen was elected to the House of Representatives Seat of Robertson on the Central Coast of New South Wales, capturing a seat held by the Liberals for the previous 20 years. He was re-elected at eight successive elections and was a Federal Member for Robertson from 1969 to 1990.

In the first two Hawke Ministries Barry Cohen held the position of Minister for Home Affairs & Environment which was later renamed Arts, Heritage & Environment. He held this position from 1983 to 1987. He was also the Minister responsible for the Bicentennial and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Bicentennial before he retired from Parliament.

A regular contributor to some of Australia's leading magazines and newspapers, Barry Cohen was a columnist for The Bulletin from 1987-91 and The Australian (1991-97).