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About the Political Owl

Richard Farmer has extensive experience in politics, journalism and gambling. He worked for several politicians as an adviser between 1977 and 1990 and for the fledgling government of Croatia in 1992. As a lobbyist his clients have included Rupert Murdoch's News Limited and the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. Over 40 years of experience in the wagering industry, both as a businessman and a punter, included being one of the founding shareholders, and later Chairman, of internet bookmaker Canbet.

Political adviser and consultant

• Advised many Australian companies on political matters and government affairs.
• Clients included the accountants PriceWaterhouse Coopers, grocery wholesaler Davids Holdings, News Limited, Kerry Stokes, the Canberra Raiders rugby league team, the Australian National University , Denison Mines of Canada, the AFL Commission, the Australian Associated Brewers, John Singleton Advertising, the Government of Croatia, the Confederation of Australian Sport and the CFMEU trade union.
• Election campaign tactician and media adviser to three federal leaders of the ALP – Whitlam, Hayden and Hawke – and to state Labor leaders in NSW and Tasmania . Described on page one of the Sydney Morning Herald as “the architect of victory” after Hawke's election win of 1987.
• Wrote and directed the television commercials for the successful 1990 campaign.
• Canberra consultant for the Liberal Country Party Government of the Northern Territory .

Journalist and commentator

After an initial cadetship with the ABC in Hobart worked in a variety of jobs in journalism including periods as political correspondent for the Sunday Australian, The Bulletin and the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Australian correspondent for the Financial Times of London and The Economist magazine. Wine writer for Gourmet Traveller magazine. Interviewer on the Channel Nine Sunday program for two years and commentator on radio 3AW in Melbourne . While working with Maxwell Newton edited a chain of South Coast NSW country papers.

Richard Farmer combines a love of politics and sport with a passion for wine.
Visit the Glug website
for the latest wine news.

Started the Farmer Bros liquor retailing business with brother David Farmer.

Expanded from one store in Canberra to multiple outlets in the ACT and NSW.

Responsible for the advertising which developed a major mail and phone order wine business that is now owned by Fosters Limited.

© Richard Farmer 2006