McKinnon Prize 2018 Selection Panel

Chris Kenny

Chris Kenny is Associate Editor at The Australian, writing columns, commentary and editorials. He also hosts “Kenny on Sunday” and provides commentary across Sky News Australia. He also hosts “Friday Feedback” on 2GB while providing commentary and filling in as a host for its other talkback shifts and has appeared on the ABC’s flagship Q&A program. He has been a contributor to The Adelaide Review, Adelaide’s Sunday Mail, The Spectator Australia and Quadrant, among others.

He holds a BA (Journalism) from the University of South Australia and began in journalism at The Murray Pioneer in Renmark, South Australia, before joining The News in Adelaide, and moving on to television at the ABC’s 7.30 Report. He later covered state and federal politics for the Ten Network and Channel Nine Adelaide.

Chris was recruited as a political adviser to SA Liberal Premier John Olsen in 2000 and was chief of staff to his successor, Rob Kerin. In 2002 he joined the staff of then foreign minister Alexander Downer as media adviser and was promoted to chief of staff, dealing with issues and crises such as the Iraq war, Bali bombings and Boxing Day tsunami. He visited more than 50 countries, including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea, joining top level meetings in The White House, Number 10 Downing Street and United Nations HQ in New York. In 2009 he was chief of staff to Malcolm Turnbull as federal opposition leader.

Chris has published two books, State of Denial (1993) about the downfall of the Bannon Government and Women’s Business (1996), the inside story of the Hindmarsh Island bridge saga. He contributed chapters to two books published in 2016: The Forgotten People – Liberal and conservative approaches to recognising Indigenous peoples (MUP) and Heartfelt Moments in Australian Rules Football (ConnorCourt).