The Conversation with Alex Malley

The Conversation with Alex Malley

Premieres Sunday 7 February at 10.00 AM

Each Sunday on Channel Nine, Alex Malley, the chief executive of CPA Australia, will sit down for an intimate, one-on-one interview with a leader from the world of politics, business, entertainment or the community.

Alex Malley returns to the Nine Network to host a new program that will reveal moving life stories behind influential and thought-provoking leaders from Sunday, February 7, at 10.00am on Channel Nine.

Each week Malley, the chief executive of CPA Australia, one of the world’s largest accounting bodies, will sit down for an intimate, one-on-one interview with a leader from the world of politics, business, entertainment or the community.

Guests will share their personal stories, perspectives and insights in this eight-part series.

Confirmed guests in season one include Channel Nine’s legendary political commentator Laurie Oakes; Atari founder and entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell; Opposition Leader Bill Shorten; World Vision CEO Tim Costello; and journalist and television presenter Deborah Knight. There will also be an exclusive interview with Alpha Cheng, the son of NSW Police employee Curtis Cheng who was murdered outside the police headquarters at Parramatta in Sydney last year.

Malley, who hosted the Nine Network series The Bottom Line for three years, believes the leadership stories and insights gleaned from his interviews will entertain, inspire and provoke.

“I’ve always found the most fascinating stories to be true stories – my experience making this show has reaffirmed this belief,” says Malley. “Uncovering our guests’ real-life experiences, emotions, failures and successes, and how these shaped their attitudes and ideologies, really is compelling.

“I’m excited about sharing these stories on Australia’s leading network over the coming weeks.”

Apparently the show shares the same name with journalism website The Conversation which caused a lot of confusion. After discussions with owners of that website, Nine will put on a disclaimer the interview show is not related to the journalism website, and will rebrand the show at the end of the current season.

I wonder if this was scheduled at 10am to go up against the now defunct Bolt Report?

Strange paid programming.

The Bottom Line was also in 10am timeslot on a Sunday at one stage.
It was a very interesting chat with Laurie Oakes on Sunday.
I’m really looking forward to watching Deb Knight’s episode.

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If only other shows on TV got the level of advertising this is getting - I’m fairly sure every single sponsor board at Flinders Street Station has an ad for this. Oddly though, using a different logo to the one above.


Exclusive Interview with Son of Slain NSW Police Employee, Curtis Cheng

Sunday 14 February at 10am

On a very special episode of The Conversation with Alex Malley, Alpha Cheng, whose father Curtis was murdered by a teenage terrorist outside NSW Police headquarters last year, shares for the first time his family’s heartbreaking experience – this Sunday, February 14, at 10.00am on Channel Nine.

During the one-on-one interview with host Alex Malley, the 28-year-old high school teacher shares the shocking moment he learnt of his father’s death, the pressures of coping with such a personal tragedy under the public spotlight, and reveals what he and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed.

But in the wake of it all, Alpha has managed to draw inspiration to help guide the next generation.
“I really feel that this made me more passionate about the role of educator,” Alpha says during the interview. “How we need to empower our young people to take control of where they want society to be.

“People always say ‘how can you be so calm in this?’, but I just think that hate and anger will never be the solution in such situations.
“We all need to follow Dad’s gentleness; his quiet ways of making people feel loved and happy. And if we all did a bit more of that we would be in a happier, more harmonious society in Australia.”

Alex Malley said: “Curtis was a 26-year member of CPA Australia, so when I learnt of his death I reached out to the Cheng family on behalf of our organisation.

“Since then I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Alpha. I remain truly taken by his resilience and dedication to helping others in the face of such a personal loss

Damn right :stuck_out_tongue:
Every meter of that station is advertising this haha

###Politicians Have Taken Up The Politics Of Fear

Gillian Triggs, President Of The Australian Human Rights Commission, Talks Leadership
With Alex Malley

Sunday 21 February at 10.00am

The issue of children being kept in detention was highlighted this week over the refusal by Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital to discharge an asylum-seeker toddler to the immigration authorities in order for her to be returned to detention on Nauru.

On this week’s episode of The Conversation with Alex Malley, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, shares her concerns and unease about the lack of respect for human rights exhibited by political leaders – Sunday, February 21, at 10.00am on Channel Nine.

“So much of our political leadership, particularly over the last 15 years, has been one which dismisses human rights, has not given full respect to human rights, and I think has undermined some of the main principles of freedom and liberty that Australia was based upon,” Prof Triggs explains during this thought-provoking interview with Alex Malley.

She also candidly recounts the fallout and personal attacks she faced from political leaders following the release of her controversial report, The Forgotten Children, which highlighted the detrimental impact of immigration detention on the mental and physical wellbeing of child detainees.

“It was very hard, but I think a certain resilience came from knowing that we’d done our homework, we knew we were right on the facts, I was positive we were right on the law – we’d put the two together in what I think was a fair and balanced report,” Prof Triggs says.

“Of course, it created a furore and unfortunately political leaders at that time decided to attack me personally rather than to take on the content of the report.”

Prof Triggs doesn’t hold back in voicing her opinion on the imbalances of power in Australia’s national leadership, saying that our executive government makes too many decisions.

“What we’ve seen in the last few years in particular is a failure opposition, of respective parties, where they’ve tried to ensure there’s no difference between the major parties, which has meant the parliament’s passed laws which significantly impinge upon our fundamental rights,” she says.

“I think what’s happened here is that because politicians have taken up the politics of fear, they’ve actually created an imbalance where we’ve sacrificed too many of our freedoms.”

###Video Game Pioneer and Steve Jobs’ Former Boss
Joins The Conversation with Alex Malley

This Sunday 28 February at 10.00am

Meet the man who said “no” to Steve Jobs.

This week on The Conversation with Alex Malley, at 10.00am Sunday on Channel Nine, father of the billion-dollar video game industry, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, shares his life’s triumphs and failures, including how he declined the opportunity to invest in a start-up company called Apple.

From inventing an electric jacket and running his own TV repair business at age 11 to founding Atari Inc. in 1972, which quickly went on to revolutionise personal entertainment, Bushnell’s story is one of unquestionable entrepreneurial courage, cleverness and creativity.

Of particular interest are his reflections on his former Atari employee and founder of Apple, Steve Jobs.

“I didn’t see the bad Steve Jobs, but he caused enough problems that I put him on the engineering nightshift, of which it didn’t exist – he was the first member of that,” Bushnell says.

“I liked Steve. I respected Steve. I thought he had the ability at that point in time to be a CEO, at exactly zero.”

Still, when Jobs approached him with an offer to buy a third of his new company Apple for $50,000, Bushnell passed on the opportunity.

“I thought that (Steve) Wozniak could definitely create something that was world-shaking, but I didn’t feel like there was any ‘there, there’ in terms of management,” Bushnell says.

On selling Atari to Warner Communications in 1976, he admits: “I possibly wouldn’t have sold Atari if I’d have just taken a two-week vacation, because part of it was actually fatigue. Perspective is really, really important and I think that if you work too hard you lose it.”

Host Alex Malley also questions Bushnell about his perspectives on what defines an entrepreneur in its truest sense.

“This is the golden age of entrepreneurship. Anybody watching this program can get up in the morning and say, ‘I’m going to start a company’ and be an entrepreneur’.

“The world has more entrepreneurial opportunities today than ever before. And then you add into that the fact that the world is moving so fast that there’re all these cracks that need to be filled by clever ideas.”

Weekend Today Host Deborah Knight

Joins The Conversation with Alex Malley

This Sunday 6 March at 10.00am

On this week’s episode of The Conversation with Alex Malley at 10.00am Sunday on Channel Nine, Weekend Today host Deborah Knight opens up about the family tragedy that shaped her life, being in Washington DC during the September 11 terrorist attacks, and how she fell pregnant naturally after being told she never would.

In this deeply personal and inspiring interview, Knight speaks about the untimely loss of her father, whose life was tragically cut short in a hang-gliding accident when she was just 12 months old.

“He crashed into the sand dunes and suffered terrible internal injuries and died a few days later,” Knight explains. “He was 21 – he was very young. That has really affected everything in my life, that one event.

“It’s hard to fathom what my own mum went through as well, having two young children and having lost her husband so young.”

Knight realised her childhood dream of becoming a reporter but, with some irony, was told by an early boss that she didn’t have what it took to work in television.

“Adversity can actually be really beneficial to you, and having these setbacks can spur you on to greater things,” Knight explains.

Knight has gone on to become one of Australia’s most recognised television journalists, reporting on major stories ranging from the Academy Awards to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States – she was near the Pentagon in Washington DC when the attacks occurred.

“I have this very sharp memory of enormous panic. No one knew what was occurring or what was next,” she recalls.

Knight also candidly recounts the challenge she faced to become pregnant, which included doctors telling her that she would never conceive naturally and two years of IVF treatments.

“It was financially taxing and emotionally taxing,” she explains. “We were facing the reality of not having a family. But as soon as we fell pregnant and had this little baby boy, Darcy who was born in 2009, all the sadness went away.”

Last year Knight defied the odds when she became pregnant with her third child without any IVF treatment. She gave birth to daughter, Audrey, on January 31.

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Sunday 13 March at 10.00am

In this week’s episode of The Conversation with Alex Malley at 10.00am Sunday on Channel Nine, CEO of World Vision Australia Tim Costello explains why he has never seen a worse period for charity in Australia.
The older brother of the former Treasurer of Australia, Peter Costello, doesn’t hold back in blaming the failings of Australia’s political leaders for Australians’ waning compassion and giving.

“I have seen a shrinking of the Australian soul, and I do attribute it to leadership,” Costello explains during the one-on-one interview with host Alex Malley. “I think the leadership has been relentlessly negative and fear- prone, unnecessarily polarised.”

On having to lay off World Vision staff as a consequence of funding cuts, Costello shares his sorrow: “This has been the worst time of my life in 12 years at World Vision.”

Costello also reflects on the immense feelings of self-doubt he faced when he was appointed to such a significant leadership role.

“My wife will tell you, after my first day here at World Vision, I came home, I was so overwhelmed I lay in bed and I said, ‘I don’t want to go in tomorrow’. It was absolutely overwhelming and it took me some time to really find my feet,” Costello confesses.

Costello speaks fondly about his relationship with his brother, Peter, but admits they had some testing times when he was in the Howard government.

“I could call it as I saw it, and sometimes it was against the Howard government and some things Peter was doing. There’s no question those moments involved friction.”

Another testing period for Costello was during his time as Mayor of St Kilda Council. He clashed with then Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett, on a number of public initiatives, including the opening of Crown Casino in 1994.
Gambling and the detrimental impact it can have on people and families is an issue Costello remains outspoken on.

“To say ‘gamble responsibly’ is as sensible as saying ‘use cocaine responsibly’,” Costello says. “For Australia to have 20 per cent of the world’s pokies, to have the greatest number of problem gamblers, bar no other country in the world, has been a national shame.”


Sunday 20 March at 10.00am

In the lead-up to the federal election, this Sunday at 10.00am on Channel Nine Opposition Leader Bill Shorten joins The Conversation with Alex Malley to discuss union corruption, political infighting and the leadership pressures he has faced.

During this candid one-on-one interview, Malley asks the leader of the Australian Labor Party – and alternative prime minister – if he feels any regret for the role he played during the highly charged leadership interchange between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

“In terms of the first change, I feel that we didn’t explain the reasons for going to Julia Gillard strongly enough,” Shorten admits. “In the other change, going back to Kevin Rudd, that was a very difficult decision at a human level. It was tougher, but I was clearer.

“I think at a very personal level some relationships never recovered. I guess the lesson is, if you’re going to make a decision to change, explain why you’re doing it.”

On being Leader of the Opposition, Shorten explains: “You tend to be reported in the media for the negative things you say about the government (rather) than the positive things you may say about your own ideas.”

Shorten also talks about his involvement in last year’s Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption where he was questioned about his time as the head of the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

“Whilst I acknowledge the Royal Commission has found unacceptable cases of thievery and corruption in some unions, I did also feel frustrated that there were selective leaks trying to damage myself and the Labor Party politically,” he says.


Sunday 27 March at 10:00am

Season Final

In the season finale of The Conversation with Alex Malley, polarising neurosurgeon Professor Charlie Teo speaks out about his issues with Australia’s surgical profession, as well as the cancer that is killing more children than any other.

Professor Teo, founder of the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and the only Australian neurosurgeon to be board-certified in both Australia and the USA, has received both considerable acclaim and criticism for his unorthodox approach to cancer treatment.

In this one-on-one interview with Alex Malley he admits that opposition to his professional approach is “as strong, if not stronger” than ever.

“It’s very easy to be conciliatory, and it’s very easy to stay on everyone’s good side, but then you’ve got to live with yourself, and I could never do that,” Professor Teo says.

“I’ve decided to stand up for what I believe in and do it without too much compromise. And I’ve done that ever since I was an intern, right until today.”

“…I think all this controversy that you’re hearing lately about medical bullying and vexatious claims against colleagues and false peer review and things like that, it’s all true you know… and the public sort of put us on a pedestal and they think, ‘oh my god, no, a doctor wouldn’t think like that; a doctor has the patient’s best interests in mind and that’s all,’ and so they think that we are non-human, that we don’t have human traits like greed, ego… we are human and we all have human traits that are sometimes pretty unattractive.”

“All the treatments that we throw at our patients today – chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery – they all depress the immune system… and I think we’re probably doing the wrong thing.”

Professor Teo also speaks about brain cancer, the disease that kills more children than any other.

“I am sure if you went and told the average person on the street that there is a cancer that’s killing our kids, our future, more than any other cancer, and yet receives the least amount of funding, they’d be aghast and abhorrent. But they don’t know. And they don’t know because it appears that there are very few voices getting out on the mountain top and yelling out the message.

“I would like all my colleagues who deal with brain cancer to get out there and beat the drum, but unfortunately they’re not.”

Series two of The Conversation with Alex Malley will commence in October 2016.


From Sunday 9 October at 10am

In Conversation with Alex Malley returns for a second series featuring more revealing and thought-provoking interviews with inspiring Australian and international guests, from Sunday, October 9, at 10.00am on Channel Nine.

In the weekly new eight-part series, CPA Australia chief executive and host Alex Malley sits down with leaders from the worlds of business, entertainment, sport and politics to discuss the story behind their careers.

This season’s guests include AFL legend Neale Daniher; author and academic Germaine Greer; Australian High Commissioner to the UK and a former Opposition Leader, Alexander Downer; journalist and news anchor Peter Overton; acclaimed plastic and reconstructive surgeon Professor Fiona Wood; seven-time surfing world champion Layne Beachley; and Australia’s most successful theatre producer, John Frost.

“Personal experiences, failures and successes – how all of these things have shaped a person’s outlook on life is really quite compelling,” Malley said. “This season’s guests are from a diverse range of dynamic professions and backgrounds, making for some fascinating stories.”

In episode one, Malley is joined by internationally acclaimed Dutch violinist André Rieu. Recognised as one of the world’s most successful touring musicians, with 40 million albums sold worldwide, Rieu speaks candidly about his rise to superstardom and very near fall owing to bankruptcy. He literally had to play himself out of debt.

“A year after, my whole world tour was sold out, and from minus 34 million (euros) I went up to 22 (million) plus,” Rieu explains.

He also admits that after decades of experience he is still plagued by nerves before taking to the stage.

“It matters to me because when we don’t play well then people don’t come back, so it has to be 100 per cent always. And I think the fun is in trying to reach the perfection. That’s fun. Not only in music, in life – in everything.”



On the next episode of In Conversation with Alex Malley, veteran news presenter Peter Overton joins the show for an immensely personal and wide-ranging conversation about his career and life, including being told to “put his manners back in” by Tom Cruise, as well supporting his wife Jessica Rowe through her struggle with postnatal depression – on Sunday, October 30, at 10.00am (AEDST) on Channel Nine.

From shaky beginnings behind the microphone of NSW radio station 2UE to a career with Channel Nine’s news team spanning 25 years, Overton’s enthusiastic account of climbing to the peak of Australia’s broadcast media industry is rich in tales of colourful characters and seizing opportunities.

Prior to his current role as host of Channel Nine’s prime-time news in Sydney, Overton spent eight years reporting for 60 Minutes, during which his controversial interview with Tom Cruise sparked international headlines when the Hollywood superstar took offence to questions about his family.

“He told me to put my manners back in,” Overton recalls. “He told me I’d crossed the line.

“It was one of those moments where it was hard to believe it was unfolding in front of your very eyes.”

Asked how he maintained his composure during that awkward encounter, Overton responds: “You can always have your manners, but I’ll also be very passionate about a subject if I need to be and you will push the line, and you will push the boundaries because you know what you need for a story.

“Sometimes you might need to attack in a question. That’s just professionally what I knew I had to do.”

Overton married fellow television presenter Jessica Rowe in 2004 and after a series of IVF treatments the couple welcomed their first child, Allegra, into the world. However, following their great joy came a period of significant struggle.

“I’d just come back from another very long trip and she said, ‘I’m not coping … I’m not handling being a mother very well’,” says Overton. “She said to me, ‘I think I have postnatal depression’.

“Jessica is a very positive woman, and her great fear was the stigma of saying I have a mental illness. It was a really hard time for her and for me … really challenging, no question.”

All CPAs who watch this show on Nine can add the thirty minutes on Sunday morning into the 20 hours of continuing professional development they are required to undertake each year. So it’s an educational program. :smirk:

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This will be interesting to see if Jessica Rowe being sacked from Today and Nine is mentioned. I noticed in the preview during Today today they used footage of Jess hosting the show back in 2006.


Sunday 6 November at 10.00AM

On the next episode of In Conversation with Alex Malley, international activist, academic and author Germaine Greer unleashes her uncensored assessment of the state of Australian leadership, gender equality, and her life with an abusive mother on Sunday, November 6, at 10.00am on Channel Nine.

In 1970, the Melbourne-born Commonwealth Scholarship winner was catapulted onto the international stage of the women’s liberation movement following the release of her seminal best-selling book, The Female Eunuch.

Surprisingly, when reflecting on the global acclaim and controversy the ideas in her book triggered, Greer admits during the interview: “It’s not a very good book … I want it to be replaced by a completely different book, by a better book – why aren’t there hundreds of them?

“There are more books on golf than there are on feminism. Misogyny is rife in English society. Men don’t like women. Now my problem is not that men don’t like women, I don’t care about that, I care about the fact that women don’t like women.”

Greer also recounts her time in London at the height of the Vietnam War where she became an avid anti-war activist.

“I can remember being so frightened on those demonstrations because the police would join us in plain clothes with their pockets full of stones, so at the opportune moment they could start throwing the stones and then we’d all be beaten up and the rest would follow,” she says.

Arriving at her perspective on Australia’s current national leadership and international standing, Greer asserts: “Every now and then I ask myself whether the two-party system has not run out of steam. It isn’t working. Our two parties are too alike. There’s nothing to choose between them.

“I cannot see the current incumbents (leaders of Australia) having the charisma to deal with the Indonesian heads of state, or Malaysian. These are very, very clever people and we should be a lot closer to them than we are.

“I think Australia is gravitating towards Asia, but it still stands in the relationship of a primary producer, which is absurd and shameful. And we’re turning the interior (of Australia) into a mess of fine dust for this negative return.”


Sunday 20 November at 10.00AM

On the next episode of In Conversation with Alex Malley, seven-time surfing world champion Layne Beachley reveals how her obsession to be the best almost ruined her life, and the impact of finding out she was adopted had on her career, on Sunday, November 20, at 10.00am on Channel Nine.

When Beachley was six years old her mother unexpectedly died. Two years later she encountered another highly traumatic incident: discovering that she was adopted.

“When my dad told me I was adopted, I felt like I’d just been swallowed by the couch, I felt like I was underserving of love, I was undeserving of life, I felt like I’d been rejected by own mother,” the only surfer to have claimed six consecutive world titles reflects during the interview.

“Every adoptee tends to have this fear of rejection. It tends to fuel our behaviours.”

For Beachley, these emotions manifested into a relentless obsession to become world champion; an obsession that almost destroyed her life.

“It cost me the quality of my health and wellbeing, it cost me the quality of my relationships on tour, and I was fiercely driven, once referred to as having the compassion of a tiger shark,” she says.

During her time on the tour Beachley was also stricken by chronic fatigue syndrome, which she admits “got so bad that I thought of different ways of killing myself”.

Following her retirement from the peak of professional surfing Beachley entered the business world, launching various clothing lines that failed to gain traction. She then made the tough decision to walk away.

“Having won six world titles with this mentality of fear, and winning a seventh world title in a state of effortless ease and grace, building a clothing brand, I went back into that survival mechanism of self-sabotage and fear.

“In the end I asked myself, ‘why am I doing this’? And it was to prove Billabong (Beachley’s former sponsors) wrong because I had left them and I really wanted to match them.

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to prove people wrong, but you’ve got to still be wanting to do it for yourself, not for them.”


Sunday 27 November at 10.00am

On the next episode of In Conversation with Alex Malley, Tony Award-winning theatre producer John Frost AM reflects on his remarkable 30-year career, from funding his first show on his credit card to bringing to life some of Broadway’s biggest hits, this Sunday, November 27, at 10.00am on Channel Nine.

The respected Australian producer behind such popular shows as The King and I, We Will Rock You and Grease got his start in show business when he was just 15, leaving home and landing a job as a dresser at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide.

“I basically conned my way in,” Frost explains. “I suppose through my life I’ve taken every opportunity I can and never let a door be slammed in my face.”

Frost would go on to co-found production company The Gordon Frost Organisation with the late Ashley Gordon in 1983, using a credit card to fund their first production as they had no money.

“It was either sink or swim. So the show went on and it made $70,000 and I thought, ‘this is easy’.

“The second show I did lost $120,000, so we had a box of invoices that we couldn’t pay.

“But it was great that that second show was a disaster because it taught me a lesson. It taught me about how to respect money, and how far you can actually push the envelope.”

It was 1996 when Broadway first came knocking, picking up Frost’s local production of The King and I which garnered him his first Tony Award.

“That was pretty bizarre because I remember standing up, receiving that award and everybody who was anybody was there. Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing – every star that I had seen since I was a kid was standing there around me,” Frost reflects.

Even after all of his success, Frost doesn’t shy away from sharing his business regrets, including when he opted to invest in the short-lived Beach Boys musical Good Vibrations over the massive worldwide hit, Jersey Boys.

“(It was a) disaster, the reviews were terrible,” Frost says about Good Vibrations. “It ran seven weeks and I think it lost about eight million dollars. We lost our million dollars within seven or eight weeks. And then Jersey Boys opens and is a mega-hit around the world.”

Although he has loved working with many legends of the stage, including Julie Andrews and Angela Lansbury, Frost admits he also gets a kick out of making left-of-centre casting decisions.

“I’m proud to put my hand on my heart and to say I gave Jeanne Little her first big grown-up show, Jerry’s Girls. Cameron Daddo did his first musical for me called Big River. Lisa McCune, no one thought she could sing, but she did. Bert Newton, six or seven or eight shows he’s done for me. Alan Jones in the musical Annie – I just love upsetting the purists when I can. I really like to stir the pot.”

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