1 April 2023

‘It's back to you Barrie’: Barrie Cassidy appointed to Chair of Old Parliament House Board

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Barrie Cassidy

Veteran former journalist and political advisor Barrie Cassidy has been appointed Chair of the Board of Old Parliament House. Photo: ABC.

Minister for the Arts Tony Burke has announced the appointment of former ABC journalist and Hawke government advisor Barrie Cassidy to the Chair of the Board of Old Parliament House. Mr Burke also announced that former Labor parliamentarian Gai Brodtmann had been reappointed to the Board.

In a statement, Mr Burke said Mr Cassidy’s appointment as Chair would bring significant experience and knowledge to Old Parliament House, while Ms Brodtmann’s re-appointment will enable her to continue to make an important contribution.

“There are very few people who worked in both Old Parliament House and New Parliament House, who served in the press galleries of both buildings and the ministerial wings of both buildings,” Mr Burke said.

“Mr Cassidy played an historic role in Old Parliament House. I’m pleased that he’ll now be chairing the board that manages that building, to tell its stories for generations to come.

READ ALSO New director appointed to Museum of Australian Democracy

“Gai Brodtmann, as a former parliamentarian, was a champion of the collecting institutions, including Old Parliament House – the Museum of Australian Democracy,” he added. “Ms Brodtmann was appointed by the previous government to serve on the board and I’m very pleased that she has agreed to continue in this capacity.”

Old Parliament House

Former Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann has also been re-appointed to the Board of Old Parliament House. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Mr Cassidy was the foundation host of ABC’s Insiders current affairs program from 2001 to 2019, and is an occasional host of One Plus One. He began his career as a regional newspaper journalist before joining the Melbourne Herald. In 1979, he became a federal political correspondent for radio and television, and has also held the position of President of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery.

Mr Cassidy worked as personal press secretary and senior political advisor to former prime minister Bob Hawke from 1986 to 1991, before returning to the media as a correspondent for The Australian newspaper in Washington, and then as the ABC’s European correspondent based in Brussels.

On his Twitter feed on the afternoon of 28 March, Mr Cassidy said, “Thrilled to do this. What a building! So intimate. The late great Peter Bowers used to say it had a pulse. Just by walking into King’s Hall you knew instinctively whether nothing was happening or the big one was about to break.”

Ms Brodtmann served as the Federal Member for Canberra from 2010 to 2019. Prior to this, she worked in private enterprise and worked for 10 years in the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Attorney General.

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Stephen Saunders6:23 am 02 Apr 23

Couldn’t be more different from previous chair, Nick Minchin. Augurs well for this distinctive museum, for which not many nations have a close equivalent. Love taking OS/interstate visitors there, and of course to New Parliament House.

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