Q& I tonght

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    Panellists: Alan Jones, Influential Radio Broadcaster; Jamie Briggs, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Development; Chris Bowen, Shadow Treasurer; Heather Ridout, Businesswoman & RBA board member; and Corinne Grant, Comedian & Writer.

    Alan Jones

    Alan Jones is a graduate of Queensland and Oxford Universities, with majors in English and French language and literature, politics and education.

    He has University Blues from both Queensland and Oxford in tennis.

    For three years, Alan was speech writer and senior adviser to the then Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser.

    Alan was elected Australian Rugby Union Coach in 1984 and coached Australia, until early 1988, victories in 102 matches.

    Alan is regarded by many as one of Australia's most gifted public speakers.

    In March 1985, Alan Jones was recruited to join Radio 2UE as their morning radio host and quickly established himself in the competitive world of Sydney radio. In March 1988, he moved to the breakfast shift, 5.30am to 9.00am and achieved the largest breakfast audience and also the largest radio audience in Australia.

    In 2002, Alan Jones joined 2GB as Breakfast announcer and this year, renewed his commitment to the station until 2017.

    In 2004, Alan received a Queen's Birthday Honour - an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) partly for his service to the media and sports' administration, but also helping many charities, including Youth off the Streets, the Children's Hospital, Starlight Foundation, the Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation and the Heart Research Institute.

    Jamie Briggs

    Jamie Briggs was born in rural Victoria in 1977 and grew up in the River Murray town of Mildura. His father was the local bank manager and his mother a volunteer worker at the Catholic primary school.

    Like most country boys, Jamie was drawn to sport and played cricket, football and golf whenever the opportunity arose.

    He went to school at St Joseph’s college in Mildura where he excelled in cricket before moving to Adelaide to pursue dreams of playing for Australia. But he also had an interest in public affairs from an early age, which developed into a particular interest in politics in his early 20s.

    After finishing school Jamie studied for a Bachelor of Management at the University of South Australia. He has since undertaken post graduate studies in international relations.

    At the age of 22 Jamie worked for Business SA, assisting South Australian businesses in managing their workplaces. It was at this time that Jamie joined the Liberal Party.

    In 2001 he was employed by the State Treasurer, Rob Lucas. In 2003 Jamie moved to Canberra to work for the coalition government and after the 2004 election he joined Prime Minister Howard’s office as an adviser. In early 2006 Jamie was appointed to a senior adviser’s role in the Prime Minister’s office.

    In 2008 Jamie won a by-election held to replace the retiring Alexander Downer in the federal seat of Mayo and in September that year he became the 1061st person to be elected to the Federal Parliament.

    After the 2013 election Jamie entered the ministry as Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

    Jamie lives in Mount Barker with his wife, Estée, and their three children Elka, Henry and Scarlett.

    Recreationally, he enjoys reading, running and playing and watching sport.

    Chris Bowen

    As shadow treasurer, western Sydney MP Chris Bowen is in a role that puts him at the forefront of the political contest. His success in attacking the Government’s controversial 2014 Budget, and confronting Treasurer Joe Hockey, has been instrumental in rebuilding Labor’s political stocks.

    Since entering Parliament in 2004 as the member for Prospect (now McMahon after a redistribution), Chris has risen steadily through the ranks of the ALP.

    He became a minister after just three years as an MP and has held several senior portfolios, including Human Services and Immigration. He was Treasurer briefly before the 2013 election and acted as interim Opposition Leader after it until the appointment of Bill Shorten.

    Chris was born in the western suburbs in 1973 and attended local schools before going to the University of Sydney, where he gained a Bachelor of Economics degree.

    He joined the ALP at 15 and worked for State and federal politicians, and for the Finance Sector Union, before entering Parliament. He also spent many years on the Fairfield Council and was mayor at the age of 25.

    Chris is married to Bec and they have two children, Grace and Max.

    Heather Ridout

    Heather Ridout is one of the prominent women in business in Australia.

    She chairs AustralianSuper, is a director of several companies and is a member the Reserve Bank of Australia board.

    Previously she was Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group where she worked as a tireless advocate for a vast and diverse membership, representing 10,000 employers in some of the biggest and most vibrant sectors of the economy: manufacturing, construction, automotive production and telecommunications.

    Heather was with the AIG and its predecessor, the Metal Trades Industry Association, for over 25 years. In that time she became one of the most respected voices of the business sector and a leading figure in Australia’s public policy debate, with particular interest in the fields of economic policy, industry innovation, and education and training.

    She has served on several government consultative bodies advising on economic policy settings. These include the Business Advisory Group on Workplace Relations, Infrastructure Australia and the Henry Review of Taxation.

    Heather has an honours degree in economics from the University of Sydney. She and her husband have three children and live in the Sydney suburb of Mosman.

    Corinne Grant

    Corinne got her TV kick-start as a regular Good News Week panellist back in 1999, and in no time became one of the most familiar faces on Australian television.

    Corinne’s first full time TV gig was as an original cast member of Rove, first shown on Channel Nine, before moving with Rove Live to the Ten Network in 2000. In 2001 she took on a second job as a founding member of ABC TV’s The Glasshouse continuing with the show until it wrapped in 2006.

    Corinne is an accomplished stand-up, MC, presenter, writer and broadcaster and has performed both nationally and internationally. In addition to her years onRove Live and The Glasshouse, she has appeared on numerous other televisions shows including Spicks and Specks, The Collectors, The Drum, The Perrett Report, Channel Ten Late News with Hamish McDonald and as the host of Airways on Channel Seven.

    She has co-hosted successful national radio shows, performed countless solo live shows and appeared everywhere from the Sydney Opera House, to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to the Kalgoorlie Arts Centre.

    Corinne's first book, Lessons In Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder, was released in September 2010. She has also written a weekly column for the online magazine The Hoopla.

    Corinne is currently juggling her performing work with full time study and hopes to complete her law degree in the next couple of years.

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