Correspondent, storyteller, speaker, MC
Peter George is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected international correspondents with a treasure trove of extraordinary stories to tell. Over a career that spans four decades, Peter has lived and worked in more than one hundred countries covering wars, famines, political upheavals, revolutions and many of the significant events of our times.
Peter was the ABC’S first Middle East correspondent, a foundation reporter with Foreign Correspondent and a Four Corners journalist. He was also the first Western journalist ever to fly in Yasser Arafat’s private plane – witnessing first-hand how the PLO leader flew from one secret location to another.
From standing on the steps of Parliament House when Gough Whitlam was sacked in 1975, to witnessing the invasion of Iraq first-hand; from interviewing Nelson Mandela after his release from prison, to visiting Siberia’s most remote Gulags, Peter has sought to tell the personal, human stories that are at the core of all tragedies and triumphs.
Peter can give first-hand accounts of the great Ethiopian famine, the Rwandan genocide, the Lebanese civil war and the Israeli invasion of that country. He can tell of the ghost that sits at Robert Mugabe’s dinner table and of Sudan’s Whirling Dervishes. He can recount the police charges of Britain’s striking miners in the 80s and the manner in which Margaret Thatcher tore him apart in an interview.
In Australia, he’s travelled to distant deserts, remote Aboriginal settlements, reported the political events of the day, interviewed Prime Ministers and led the television series Rewind (History Detectives) investigating the hidden stories of Australia’s history.
As a speaker, Peter recounts these experiences and events from five continents at a personal and emotional level, with intimacy, insight and humour. His talks are entertaining and self-deprecating, filled with drama, sadness, laughter and joy. His stories illustrate the common nature of people – our aspirations, hopes and fears – and the belief that, in every situation, there are always those who rise above the ordinary to achieve extraordinary things. From the Nigerian farmer living in a grass hut to the stockbroker in the Manhattan high-rise to the Hobart cheese maker, he’s found that we share more traits than we have differences.
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Peter has also been a Radio National Breakfast presenter; Executive Producer of the ABC-TV history programme, Rewind; producer and co-creator of Peking to Paris, a documentary series recreating the first great international road race of 1907 – with genuine 100-year-old cars. He is also an author and occasional contributor to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Peter George talks about:
• International Affairs: The World as an Observer
• The Middle East: How We Manage to Get it Wrong
• Arab-Israeli Conflict: Brothers at War
• Saddam Hussein: My Part in his Downfall
• Humiliation on the Road: How Margaret Thatcher Tore Me Apart and other Disasters
• Conflict: A Reporter’s Personal Story of Coping with Trauma and Tragedy
• How to Love People Despite the Evidence: How the Human Spirit can Rise Above Chaos
• Stories from 100 Countries: Insights to the Politics
• The Metropolitan Peasant: An Australian in Rural France
• Staggering to a Halt: Dealing with the Grief Retirement – a Foreign Correspondent at Sea
• The Passionate Nomad: An endless journey through 100 Countries
• You’re Never Quite Ready: Setting out on a Five Year Voyage and other (near) disasters
• How to Avoid Becoming an Author: Tales of a Newcomer in Southern Tasmania
• Fear of Failure: Life on the Road as a Correspondent
• You Can Always Go Home: The Role of the Foreign Correspondent
• Jewel in the Crown: Public Broadcasting in a Democracy
• Deadline Pressure: Real Journalism in the Age of Twitter
• There’s Always a Joke: A Reporter’s Approach to Storytelling
• How to be a Hack: The First Moon Landing and My Part in It