In 2008 I was asked to write speeches for then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It was a tempting offer. The trouble was that I would be based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), not the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and would work as a public servant, not a political staffer. Having worked as both a public servant and a political staffer, I believed the best way to do the job – which is all about intimacy of belief and thought – was to be embedded in the leader’s office. I also knew that the PMO already had an incumbent speechwriter, Tim Dixon. I said no.
The snow leopard in Canberra
Speechless: A Year in My Father’s Business
by James Button
Melbourne University Press, $32.99 pb, 255 pp, 9780522858587
Joel Deane is a speechwriter, novelist, and poet. He has worked in Australia and the United States as a journalist and political...
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