How do leaders become legends, and how does a writer expose the person behind the public face? David Marr has explored the lives of controversial politicians, eminent journalists and literary luminaries. Julia Baird revisited the life of a monarch for Victoria: The Queen, Wilson imagined the life of naturalist George Forster, who travelled with Captain Cook, and Troy Bramston wrote a sweeping biography of Paul Keating. David Marr leads a spirited discussion about why there is no such thing as a definitive biography.

Julia Baird (Australian)

Julia Baird

Julia Baird is a journalist, broadcaster and author. She hosts The Drum on ABCTV, and writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and The New York Times, along with investigative reports for ABC News. Her most recent book, best selling Victoria: The Queen was published in several countries and was called one of the best books of the year by The New York Times. She also has a PhD in history.

A.N. Wilson (International)

A.N.WilsonÕs most recent book is Resolution, an historical novel based on the life of George Forster, the German boy who sailed with Captain Cook on his second momentous voyage. Andrew has combined a career of writing fiction and non-fiction. Over twenty novels, which include social comedies, satires and historical fiction have alternated with biographies and histories, including the three-part The Victorians; After the Victorians andÊOur Times. In young manhood, he used to teach medieval literature at Oxford, and a fairly recent title is Dante in Love, a study of the great Italian poet. He has also written biographies of Tolstoy, for which he won the Whitbread Prize, and more recently Queen Victoria.

Troy Bramston (Australian)

Troy Bramston has been a senior writer and columnist with The Australian newspaper and a contributor to Sky News since 2011. Troy is the author or editor of eight books, including Paul Keating: The Big-Picture Leader, Rudd, Gillard and Beyond, Looking for the Light on the Hill: Modern Labor's Challenges, and The Dismissal: In the Queen's Name (with Paul Kelly). Troy has worked as a policy and political adviser, and speechwriter, in government, opposition, and the private sector.

David Marr (Australian)

David Marr is a journalist and broadcaster who now writes for Guardian Australia. He’s published a couple of biographies and a number of books about politics, censorship and immigration. Over the last ten years he has written a number of Quarterly Essays. His latest is The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race. He previously presented Media Watch and appears regularly on Insiders and The Drum. His latest book is My Country, an anthology of essays.