Nine things you need to know about Malcolm Turnbull, our new PM.

Rich, a liberal Liberal and smart as a whip. Meet Malcolm.

Nine things to know about the new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

1. He is super rich.

In 2010, Turnbull made the BRW Rich 200 list with an estimated net worth of $186 million. He is a self-made man, accumulating his impressive stash of funds over his many careers. He was a prominent barrister, co-founded an investment bank and later became a partner at Goldman Sachs, his $1 million stake in internet service provider OzEmail turned into $60m under his leadership as chairman, and he has invested in various global funds.

Let’s just say, he’s not short of a buck.

The 60-year-old’s prosperity is regularly used against him, with opponents pointing out that he is far from the common man. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten claimed as recently as this evening that the last thing Australia needs is another “arrogant and out of touch” PM.

I’m smiling because I’m rich.

2. He was raised by his father.

Turnbull’s mother – a radio scriptwriter – moved to New Zealand and later the United States when he was nine,  a period he describes as “hard” and “upsetting”. He was raised by his hotel broker father Bruce.

“The most unique thing about that period in my life was my father was incredibly disciplined,” Turnbull said in an interview.

“Looking back, she treated him terribly. We were left with nowhere to live, she took all the furniture and it was pretty bad. Bruce never ever said a bad word about it to me. Dad was incredible.  He was absolutely determined I would have a strong relationship with my mother.”

Turnbull has been biding his time in the wings. That time could be right now.

In the 1980’s Turnbull nursed his mother as she died of cancer. He said he forgave her for abandoning him – an act she desperately wanted at the time.

In 1987, in memory of his father, he set up the Bruce Turnbull means-tested scholarship at his old school, Sydney Grammar, for students who could not afford the fees.

3. He is super smart.

Turnbull studied Arts and Law at the University of Sydney, where he reportedly paid a friend $30 a week to take notes for him when he skipped class.

But, like Tony Abbott, he won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and studied a Bachelor of Civil Law at England’s Oxford University, graduating with Honours.

Before entering politics, he worked as a journalist, a lawyer, a barrister, an investment banker and a venture capitalist.

4. He and his wife have spoken publicly about the trauma of miscarriages.

Turnbull and his wife, Lucy – who in 2003 became the first female Lord Mayor of Sydney – have two children, Alex and Daisy, but they have also spoken publicly about pregnancies that ended in loss.


Now grandparents, Lucy and Malcolm have both publicly supported services and charities relating to miscarriage and premature birth.

Turnbull said his greatest regret in life was not having more kids.

“I would have loved to have more children but when you start to have miscarriages in your late 30s you start to have concerns,” he said.

See, I love kids.

5. He was the Liberal leader until ousted by Tony Abbott in 2009.

Turnbull was Leader of the Opposition from September 2008 to December 2009, when he controversially ordered the Liberal Party to support Labor’s proposed emissions trading scheme. Abbott seized the opportunity and challenged his leadership – a move that saw Turnbull lose his position by just one vote.

He announced his retirement from politics, but changed his mind two months later after several pleas from prominent Liberals, including former Prime Minister John Howard.

6. He is a republican.

While Abbott is a former director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Turnbull spent seven years as Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement. He was active in the 1999 referendum campaign for the nation to become a republic and has authored a book on the topic.

7. He is far more moderate in his beliefs than his conservative colleagues.

Like Abbott, Turnbull is Catholic. But he adheres far less strictly to the church’s beliefs and supported legislation relaxing restrictions on abortion pill RU486, as well as legislation for the legalisation of therapeutic cloning and is in favour of same-sex marriage.

We imagine he is now a very happy man.

8. But he has already assured colleagues he won’t rock the boat.

His more liberal views in some policy areas have long been seen as a major roadblock in his path to success due to concerns by the more conservative members of the party.

But he has already assured colleagues that, should he be elected as Leader, he will not pursue an emissions trading scheme and is committed to a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, as promised by the party.

9. He is our 29th Prime Minister of Australia.

On Monday Turnbull resigned his position as Communications Minister and from Cabinet to contest the party’s leadership. He said Australia needed a different style of leadership.

“We need advocacy, not slogans. We need to respect the intelligence of the Australian people,” he said.

It prompted Abbott to announce a party room ballot for leadership, which Turnbull won by 54 votes to 44.

At his first media conference he said was very humbled by the great honour and responsibility that have been given to him.

How do you feel about our new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull?