At a Glance: Who is Malcolm Turnbull?

  • 15/09/2015
Malcolm Turnbull (AAP)
Malcolm Turnbull (AAP)

Australia's newest Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will become the country's 29th leader, after Tony Abbott was ousted from the top job last night.

Turnbull managed to successfully overthrow Abbott with 54 votes to 44.

So, who is he?

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull


Turnbull went to Sydney Grammar School, before attending the University of Sydney. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in political science in 1977, and a year later gained a law degree. In 1978 he won a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Brasenose College, Oxford, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Law, with honours.

During his time at Oxford, Turnbull worked for the Sunday Times. Upon his return to Australia he worked as a barrister, before leaving the bar in 1983 to take up a role as General Counsel and Secretary for Australian Consolidated Press Holdings Group.

In 1986 he established his own law firm and successfully defended former MI5 agent and Spycatcher author Peter Wright, blocking the British government's attempts to suppress its publication.

In 1987 Turnbull moved into investment banking and established his own firm, Whitlam Turnbull & CO Ltd. Turnbull has also chaired a number of companies, including Goldman Sachs and Axiom Forest Resources.

Turnbull was elected to Parliament in 2004 as the MP for Wentworth – one of Sydney's wealthiest suburbs. He was promoted to Parliamentary Secretary during John Howard's 2006 cabinet reshuffle, and in 2007 was made the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

In 2008 Turnbull was elected as the Liberal Party leader, but on December 1, 2009 he was ousted by Tony Abbott.

Turnbull has been married to prominent businesswoman and former Lord Mayor of Sydney, Lucy Turnbull, since 1980. The couple have two children, Alex and Daisy, as well as a grandson.

His parents are Bruce and Coral Turnbull, who separated when he was nine. His father was a hotel broker, while his mother was a radio actor, writer and academic. After their separation, Turnbull was raised by his father.

In 2005 the combined wealth of Turnbull and his wife was estimated at AU$133 million (NZ$150 million). He is currently the second wealthiest member of Federal Parliament, after billionaire Clive Palmer. Turnbull made the BRW Rich 200 list for the second time in 2010, when his net worth was estimated at AU$186 million.

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