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Ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors in Parliament House? Former political staffer Sean Sammon shares his experience of the riding political roller coaster that was the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government and how he got out alive.

 

Links to some of the things Sean touched on:

  • “That handshake” - watch the moment former Labor Opposition Leader lost the 2004 Australian Federal Election campaign to then-Prime Minister John Howard here.
  • Who the hell is Joh Bjelke-Peterson? For those of you who were there, a refresher. For those of you who don’t have a clue, strap yourselves in, it’s a killer of a political story.
  • While Sean was working away as a staffer for Labor rising stars Mark Arbib and Kate Lundy, Australia experienced the removal of not one but two sitting prime ministers - Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. The ABC’s Adele Ferguson captured all the gory details in the seminal documentary The Killing Season. Watch and learn.
  • Some of the political characters Sean mentioned:
    • Bill Shorten MP, Federal Opposition Leader
    • Bridget Whelan, former Chief of Staff to Mark Arbib
    • Allison Hill, former media adviser to Mark Arbib
    • Susan Templeman MP
  • Former political speechwriter to Julia Gillard, Michael Cooney’s book The Gillard Project: My Thousand Days of Despair and Hope, explores the different types of political staffers refers to in our podcast.
  • Guardian Australia journalist Katherine Murphy wrote an essay for Meanjin: A Political Life Is No Life At All on the life and times of Greg Combet, Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation in the Second Gillard Ministry.

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