Laurie Oakes
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Laurie Oakes

Laurie Oakes
Laurie Oakes 2014.jpg
Oakes in 2014
Born (1943-08-14) 14 August 1943 (age 77)
OccupationRetired Journalist and Author
Years active1969-2017

Laurie Oakes (born 14 August 1943 in Newcastle, New South Wales) is a retired Australian journalist. He worked in the Canberra Press Gallery from 1969 to 2017, covering the Parliament of Australia and federal elections for print, radio, and television.

Early career

Oakes was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, the son of Wes and Hazel Oakes. His father worked for BHP as an accountant. When Oakes was six years old, his father was transferred to Cockatoo Island, a small island off the coast of Derby, Western Australia, where there was an iron ore mine. He began his schooling at a one-teacher school with only 20-30 children.[1] Oakes later moved back to New South Wales and attended Lithgow High School.[2][3] He graduated in 1964 from the University of Sydney while working part-time with the Sydney Daily Mirror.

At the age of 25 he was the Melbourne Sun's Canberra Bureau Chief and while working for that paper he began providing political commentaries for the TV program, Willesee at Seven. In 1978 he began The Laurie Oakes Report, a televised political journal. In 1979 he joined Network Ten and worked there for five years. He has since written about politics for The Age in Melbourne and the Sunday Telegraph in Sydney. He commentated for several radio stations.[4]

In 1980 he obtained a draft copy of the Australian federal budget, before it was delivered in Parliament.[5]

Later career

In 1997, Oakes used leaked documents to report on abuse of parliamentary travel expenses, which ended the careers of three ministers, several other politicians and some of their staff.[4] More recently he used leaked documents showing the Rudd Government ignored warnings from four key departments about its Fuelwatch scheme.[6]

Oakes has been a weekly contributor to various Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) owned media outlets, including the former Channel 9 television program, Sunday. He has also been a regular reporter for Nine News.[7] He wrote a weekly column for The Bulletin magazine until it ceased publication in January, 2008. Oakes now writes for publications.[8]

He announced his retirement date as 18 August 2017.[9]

Personal politics

In a 2004 interview, Oakes said: "My personal politics are pretty much in the middle, I would think. I've voted both ways at various times. I don't know if perceptions about my politics influence whether people will be interviewed. [Paul] Keating used to boycott the program every now and again; not because he thought I was a Liberal but because he thought I wouldn't toe the line. Paul believed in rewards and punishment."[10]

Oakes has been nicknamed the "Sphere of Influence" by Crikey.[]


In 1998 Oakes won the Walkley Award for journalistic leadership, and again in 2001 for television news reporting.[4] He claimed the Gold Walkley in 2010 for his reporting of Labor leaks during the federal election campaign.[11] In 2010, Oakes won the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year award.[12]

In 2011, Oakes was inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame.[13]

He delivered the 2011 Andrew Olle Media Lecture.[14]


  • Oakes, Laurie; Solomon, David, 1938- (1973). The Making of an Australian Prime Minister. Melbourne Cheshire. ISBN 978-0-7015-1711-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Oakes, Laurie (1973). Whitlam PM : a biography. Angus & Robertson. ISBN 978-0-207-13015-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Oakes, Laurie; Solomon, David, 1938- (1974). Grab for power : election 74. Cheshire. ISBN 978-0-7015-2046-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Oakes, Laurie (1976). Crash through or crash : the unmaking of a Prime Minister. Richmond, Vic. Drummond. ISBN 978-0-909081-07-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Oakes, Laurie (1984). How will I vote? : your guide to politics and government in Australia. Dove Communications. ISBN 978-0-85924-353-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Oakes, Laurie (2008). Power plays : the real stories of Australian politics. Hachette Australia. ISBN 978-0-7336-2365-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Oakes, Laurie (2010). On the record : politics, politicians and power (1st ed.). Hachette Australia. ISBN 978-0-7336-2700-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Oakes, Laurie (2013). Remarkable times : Australian politics 2010-13 : what really happened. Sydney, N.S.W. Hachette Australia. ISBN 978-0-7336-3197-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)


  1. ^ Laurie Oakes reflects on 50 years of Australian political journalism, In the Black, 1 March 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  2. ^ Williams, Brett (December 2009). "To live and breathe politics" (PDF). Police Journal. Police Association of South Australia: 26-27, 47. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ "2010-2013: A unique time in politics". 702 ABC Sydney. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Laurie Oakes - Political Editor". 9 News. ninemsn. Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^ Grattan, Michelle (19 August 1980). "Government orders Budget leak inquiry". The Age. p. 1. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 2010.
  6. ^ Farr, Malcolm; Watts, Bradd (23 June 2008). "Federal police hunt for Laurie Oakes fuel leak source". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010.
  7. ^ "9News - Latest news and headlines from Australia and the world". Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Laurie Oakes - Opinions and Comments - Herald Sun". Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Carmody, Broede (3 August 2017). "Laurie Oakes, veteran political journalist, retires aged 73". Retrieved 2017 – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  10. ^ Steve Dow (2 October 2005). "Interview with Laurie Oakes". Sydney journalist
  11. ^ "Laurie Oakes wins the Gold Walkley". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 10 December 2010. Archived from the original on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  12. ^ Publisher, Master. "Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year honour roll - Melbourne Press Club". Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Meade, Amanda (18 April 2011). "'Chuffed' Oakes to be inducted into the Logies hall of Fame". The Australian. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ Nic Christensen (12 August 2011). "Laurie Oakes to present Andrew Olle lecture". The Australian.

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Peter Harvey
Nine News
Chief Political Editor

Succeeded by
Chris Uhlmann

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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