Media Room

Malcolm Turnbull is Australia’s 29th Prime Minister

After a tumultuous 72 hours in Canberra, CapitalHill looks at the story behind the man, the most recent chapter of which culminated in his swearing in on Tuesday at 1:30pm as 29th Prime Minister of Australia.

Born in Sydney to a hotel brokering father and a radio drama star mother, Mr Turnbull grew up in Sydney’s eastern suburbs attending Vaucluse public school. Through a scholarship program, Mr Turnbull later attended Sydney Grammar School, before going on to receive both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at Sydney University. Mr Turnbull then won a Rhodes scholarship for the completion of a Bachelor of Civil Law at Oxford University, England.

At 60 years of age, Mr Turnbull had a vibrant career before entering politics. As a lawyer, he took on the British Government in the defence of MI5 officer Peter Wright in the notorious Spycatcher trial. In 1987, he established an investment banking firm. He further served as Managing Director of investment management firm Goldman Sachs Australia, eventually becoming Partner of the global Goldman Sachs and Co. Mr Turnbull also oversaw the expansion of Australian Internet Service Provider OzEmail from 1994 to 1999, at which point the company was sold to then telecommunications giant, MCI Worldcom.

From 1993 to 2000, Mr Turnbull was the Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement advocating a parliamentary republic, with a bi-partisan appointment republican model.
Malcolm Turnbull first stood for Liberal Party preselection in the seat of Wentworth in the eastern suburbs of Sydney in the 1981 Wentworth by-election; he was, however, beaten by Peter Coleman. He was first elected to the seat of Wentworth at the 2004 election, a time at which his wife, Lucy, was Lord Mayor of Sydney.

Since his election to Parliament, Mr Turnbull has served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Shadow Treasurer, Opposition Leader, Shadow Minister for Communications and, most recently, Minister for Communications in the Abbott Government.

Mr Turnbull lost the leadership of the Liberal Party in 2009 by one vote to Tony Abbott, but yesterday won a ballot of the Parliamentary Liberal Party 54 votes to 44 after challenging for the leadership.

Prime Minister Turnbull has announced he will be offering a new style of leadership that explains complex issues and sets out clear courses for action. He has committed to running a ‘traditional cabinet-style’ of Government.

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Do you want more than the headlines? For insights into the personalities, priorities, and politics of the new Turnbull-led Government and what it means for your organisation, you can request a briefing by contacting our Canberra office.

CapitalHill Advisory is well positioned to offer insight into opportunities for clients as the situation in Canberra unfolds over the coming days and weeks. Please contact Nick Tyrrell, Managing Director, CapitalHill Canberra for more information.

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