Author & Former Politician
Barry Cohen admits that what kept him sane through thirty years as a politician, was the funny side of his profession. As a raconteur with a bower bird collection of hilarious stories about life in politics, Barry has led a post political life as a writer, speaker and commentator.
Barry is the author of eight books of which almost all have made the best-seller list. His books include: The Life of the Party (1987), After the Party (1988), How to Become Prime Minister (1990), Life With Gough (1996), Whitlam to Winston (1997), The Yartz (2000), What About the Workers (2001), The Almost Complete Gough (2001)
In 1969 Barry was elected to the House of Representatives Seat of Robertson on the Central Coast of New South Wales, capturing a seat held by the Liberals for the previous 20 years. He was re-elected at eight successive elections and was a Federal Member for Robertson from 1969 to 1990.
In the first two Hawke Ministries he held the position of Minister for Home Affairs & Environment which was later renamed Arts, Heritage & Environment. He held this position from 1983 to 1987. He was also the Minister responsible for the Bicentennial and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Bicentennial before he retired from Parliament.
A regular contributor to some of Australia's leading magazines and newspapers, Barry was a columnist for The Bulletin from 1987-91 and The Australian (1991-97).
From 1990 until 2005 Barry developed and managed a unique wildlife sanctuary at Calga on the Central Coast. During 1998 - 2007 Barry was the Deputy Chairman of the Governing Council of Old Parliament house.
All his life Barry Cohen has had trouble keeping his plump, good-natured face straight. In school, in the army and in politics he has been inclined to see the funny side of things and, sometimes to his cost, joke about them. He has funny stories for all occasions and delivers them complete with accents and routines.
Barry's easy manner and sense of the absurd combined well with his ability to deliver political anecdotes with a sting in the tail.
Barry Cohen was an exceptionally witty speaker and his anecdotes were thoroughly enjoyed by all. He has a warm human manner and comes across as somebody who can always see the funny side of everything.
Australian Federation Of Construction Contractors
Would you please thank Barry Cohen for the most entertaining (hilarious is the better word), dinner speech I have ever had the pleasure of hearing.