Laurie Oakes is one of Australia’s foremost political commentators with a distinguished career in journalism that spans more than 30 years. His incisive political commentary and news-breaking ability has earned him the respect of peers and politicians alike. Renowned for his probing interviews and Canberra-shaking scoops, in 1997 he broke the travel rorts saga that ended the careers of three ministers and government staffers. In 2010 Laurie won the Gold Walkley and also the Walkley for Television Reporting for his coverage of Labor’s leaks during the election that year. In 1998 he won the Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership.
Laurie graduated from Sydney University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, joined The Daily Mirror the following year and in 1965 became state political roundsman. By the age of 25, he was Canberra bureau chief for The Melbourne Sun-Pictorial and provided political commentaries for the Seven Network’s Willesee at Seven. In 1978, Laurie started his own political journal, The Laurie Oakes Report. The following year he joined Network Ten, where he stayed for five years before moving to the Nine Network. For several years Oakes wrote about politics in The Age in Melbourne and The Sunday Telegraph in Sydney and provided political reports and commentaries to several radio stations. Today, he files reports for Nine News and Today and has become a highly regarded political author for his biography of Gough Whitlam.