Richard Alston - barrister, politician, diplomat, company director, senior Cabinet minister for more than seven years - was a leading figure in national debates about privatisation, innovation, information technology, the Arts and the ABC, transforming the federal Communications portfolio into a telecommunications powerhouse with a significant role in the economy.
His interests ranged widely from participation in organisations concerned with international development to enthusiastic collection of books, art works, glassware, rugs and silks. His personal art collection includes several works by his friend, David Hockney, as well as splendid examples of Indigenous paintings.
An outstanding Communications minister who really understood the industry. - John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, 1996-2007
Richard Alston was one of the greatest Arts ministers – his obvious intellect and his love of the Arts laid the foundations for today’s successes.
- David Gonski, Chancellor, University of New South Wales since 2005
A brilliant politician in exactly the right place when the Internet arrived. - Ziggy Switkowski, CEO, Telstra, 1999-2005
Richard Alston, one of Australia’s most perceptive Cabinet ministers, tells a fascinating inside story about his time in Cabinet and other significant periods in his very interesting life. - Allan Fels, chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, 1995-2003
Richard Alston’s wide-ranging interests in art, literature, history and diplomacy round out a very notable career which has important lessons for the political class. - Amanda Stoker, Liberal Senator for Queensland since 2018