Denver Van Gramberg took the time to sit down with and interview our Chairman John Hewson. Here are the amusing and intellectual responses we got. A great insight into a respected public figure…
What is your favourite memory from your childhood?
Receiving a bike for Christmas - unfortunately, since then, I have been told many times to "get on my bike!".
You have a passion for gardening, what tips can you give to fellow 'green thumbs?'
Be bold, but patient.
What is a place of historical significance that you & your wife Jessica have seen together?
British cathedrals, especially Salisbury.
Will Australia always be a two-speed economy & what industry is most important to Australia's future?
No, much of the two-speed has been the result of a misguided monetary policy, with its effect on the $A, compounded by industry/competition policies that don't really seek to maximise our natural and competitive advantages.
How would you invest $10,000?
Very carefully, in today's particularly uncertain and volatile markets, but asset class balance with flexibility is the key.
What is the best sledge you’ve heard in Parliament?
George Houston Reid, ex PM, when heckled about his great belly, "It's all piss and wind. I'll call it after you!"
What advice would you give someone who is considering a career in politics?
Think twice, especially given the very personalised/facile/futile nature of politics today.
What role does Australia play in the world political stage?
We punch above our weight, but often lose sight of our genuine national interest, and of what should be our first line of foreign policy responsibilities, relationships with our near neighbours in Asia and the Pacific.
Is the undermining of a party's leader by sub-factions a healthy part of Australian politics?
Do we need to consider paying our politicians a larger salary to attract better candidates?
Probably yes, but only if we could start with a clean slate, having fired most of the existing ones and re-advertising their positions.
Have we seen the last cabinet shuffle within the ALP & how is Australia likely to decide come 14 September?
Hopefully the last reshuffle by Gillard and, if the polls are correct, an Abbott win by 25-35 seats.
You have been described as a business leader who can combine 'gentle guidance' with 'authority.' How have you been able to achieve this?
Focus and hard work, never giving up on the people or ideas.
With a career that's included being an academic & economist, a businessman, a political advisor & politician, & a media figure...What has been your main driving force? And what is your next big challenge?
Survival, and to survive until tomorrow, still with a sense of humour.