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The Gatekeepers: Lessons from Prime Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff

1 August 2014




So, you want to be Chief of Staff to the Australian Prime Minister? The Gatekeepers provides the key lessons to equip you for the job.

Australian prime ministers need help and it is their chief of staff who supports the person and the office, steering the prime minister through the challenges and landmines of political leadership. It is about making sure the urgent doesn’t crowd out the important. It comes down to finely tuned coordination. It is about winning support in cabinet, caucus and country.

The Gatekeepers offers unparalleled insights into how things really work at the centre of Australia’s governing networks from those who have worked as chiefs of staff under prime ministers from Fraser to Rudd. It identifies eight key lessons for success as the PM’s gatekeeper and shock absorber.

It reveals what to do, what not to do, how to do it and how not to do it.

This book is an output from the ANZSOG-funded project Ministers’ courts and courting ministers.

Suggested citation

Rhodes, R.A.W. and Tiernan, A. (2014) The Gatekeepers: Lessons from Prime Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

Authors: Rod Rhodes and Anne Tiernan
Published Date: 1 August 2014