Maxine McKew

Former Journalist, Politician, Author & Keynote Speaker

Maxine McKew is an author and Hon Enterprise Professor of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Her impressive professional career has also traversed both journalism and politics.

Maxine is in demand as a public speaker and panel facilitator. Universities, corporates, schools and not for profits use her skills as an interviewer at conferences and specialist seminars. She is also available as a keynote speaker in her areas of interest - education, national and international politics, and the challenges of the changing workforce.

For many years Maxine was a familiar face on ABC TV, as anchor of prestigious programmes including the 7.30 Report and Lateline. Her work has been recognised by her peers with both Walkely and Logie awards. While anchoring Lateline, Maxine interviewed a host of international figures including Madeleine Albright, Tony Blair, Fidel Ramos, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Shimon Peres and William Cohen.

Maxine's extensive media career has also included working from around the world, including a posting to Washington DC in the 1980's as political correspondent for the ABC. This was followed by an appointment to the Ten Network based in the New York bureau. As a result of her appointments, Maxine maintains a strong interest in American political and economic issues and is a regular participant in the privately funded annual Australia/U.S Leadership Dialogue.

When Maxine left journalism and made the switch to politics, she wrote herself into the Australian history books by defeating Prime Minister John Howard in the Sydney seat of Bennelong. In government she was both parliamentary secretary for early childhood and later, for regional development and local government.

Maxine McKew's book, Class Act published by Melbourne University Press in 2014, is a study of the key challenges in Australian schooling. This publication followed the success of her memoir, Tales From the Political Trenches, an account of her brief but tumultuous time in the Federal Parliament.

Maxine lives in Melbourne and is a director of Per Capita and the John Cain Foundation. In 2015 she was appointed to serve on the board of the State Library of Victoria and re-appointed for a further term in 2018. She also serves as a non-executive director of New Energy Solar.

With her professional approach and personal charm, Maxine is in demand as a discussion facilitator and MC for industry and corporate events.

Client testimonials

Brilliant - Topical, entertaining and frank. Very interesting, thought provoking and relevant.

Public Service and Merit Protection Commission.

Maxine McKew chaired a quite challenging question session - and was able to 'draw out' our speaker very well.

Australian Institute of Company Directors NSW Division

Maxine was a great asset to our conference and particularly as facilitator of the debate.

Insolvency Trustees Service Australia