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Open Right

Dr Leslie Cannold

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Journalist, Social Commentator, Speaking Out

Dr Leslie Cannold is an author, teacher, ethicist and commentator. Her books include the What, No Baby? which made the Australian Financial Review’s top 101 books list. Her first novel, The Book of Rachael, has been reprinted twice by her Australian publisher Text and will be published in 2014 in the United States and the UK. Leslie is often noted as one of Australia’s leading thinkers. She has been listed alongside Professor Peter Singer, Professor Gustav Nossal and Inga Clendinnen as one of Australia’s top 20 public intellectuals, and named in 2012 among Australia’s top ten most influential thinkers. In 2011 she was named Australian Humanist of the Year.

Haven’t I seen you before?

You’ve seen me on Q & A, The Drum, Weekend Sunrise and The 7pm Project. I’m also set to appear on a new show called The Moral Compass on ABC TV. I was the educational and then ethics columnist for The Age and The Sydney Sun-Herald and my opinions still appear in the Fairfax Press and also in The Drum. I teach at several universities and The School of Life, and do a fair bit of keynote speaking and workshop facilitation so I might have been out front at your last lecture, conference or professional event.

What themes are recurring in your work?

How should we live and other ethical quandaries. I’m absorbed with understanding what makes a leader inspirational and how those in charge can lead through times of change. The impact of gender stereotypes is a big part of my work, particularly how they limit the lives of both women and men and effect the big ticket issue of work/life balance. I’m fascinated by the qualities that make leaders inspirational and in recent years have become absorbed with the potential and the risks of social media for digital natives.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve been a researcher in the community, academic and for-profit sector and a freelance journalist and columnist. I sit on a number of health boards (nurses and midwifery, physiotherapy and the mental health review board) as well research-related committees.

Where have your works been published?

My books have been published by Allen & Unwin, Fremantle Arts Centre Press and Text. I’ve had book chapters published by Scribe, Penguin and ABC Books.

What are you passionate about?

The English language, equality, evidence, and inspiring people to make a difference when and how they can.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Publication of my first novel The Book of Rachael and being named The Australian Humanist of the Year are up there. I was also honored to receive an Eliminating Violence Against Women (EVA) Award for one of my columns and to have been a finalist in the Best Science Tweets content for Science Week.

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