Where To Now Malcolm? We've Shortlisted Some Job Options

Life after politics can include anything from spruiking pasta sauce to joining a big bank.

What happens when you go from being one of the busiest and most important people in the country, to finding yourself out of work?

Malcolm Turnbull -- like many before him --  says he's now going to lap up some family time.

"I look forward to spending some more time with them," he said in his exit speech.

Looking further afield (and in the history books for some inspiration) ten daily has chronicled some of his options once he gets bored of chess and beef roast Sundays.

Social scientist Dr Mark Rolfe from the University of New South Wales, also weighed in.

Try your hand at some acting

The late Labor leader Gough Whitlam (who was dismissed from office by the Queen in 1975) kept quite busy in the decades after his political tenure.

He held various academic positions, and in 1983 was appointed as ambassador to UNESCO. There were  also visiting professorships and seats on boards and councils, usually involving foreign relations.

Whitlam also starred in a pasta sauce television commercial. The advertisement was part of a popular series that featured Australian celebrities speaking Italian to the camera. Whitlam's appearance was tongue in cheek with the former PM telling viewers they did not need to “labour” in the kitchen, and that after a quick preparation of the meal, “it’s time” to eat.

Should Turnbull get an agent?

"I don't see Turnbull starring in television commercials anytime soon, he certainly doesn't need the money," said Rolfe.


John Howard spent eleven years in office leading a Coalition government until 2007.

Since leaving parliament, he has produced two  books -- an autobiography in 2010 Lazarus Rising and The Menzies Era  in 2014, an assessment of the country's longest serving prime minister (written by second longest serving prime minister).

"It's not just Howard or Bob Carr writing books about their lives and their views, everyone seems to want to get their version of history down now", Rolfe told ten daily.
John Howard signing his book in 2014.

Howard has increased his own prosperity (and frequent flyer points) by joining other fee-charging former world leaders on the international talk circuit.

Get a big paycheck working for a bank

Former NSW Premier Mike Baird stepped down from his role in January 2017 citing "family time" and "family health issues" among the main reasons he is hanging up his political coat.

Five weeks later, the state Liberal leader's appointment to National Australia Bank was announced -- a role that came with a $1.7 million salary.

Mike Baird served as NSW Premier until early 2017.

Former Labor Premier Bob Carr left office in 2005 after a decade in power.

In October 2005 Carr became a part-time consultant for Macquarie Bank and earned half a million dollars advising the company on policy, climate change, renewables and international strategic relations.

In retirement, Carr also makes speeches at international conferences on climate change, Australia–China relations and multiculturalism and write books.

Rofle says he doesn't think Turnbull going down this route. It's no secret that he made a fortune during the dotcom boom.

"Turnbull is vitally interested in civics it will be interesting to see what he does in that area.  I see him staying in the political realm, he is very passionate about causes, but it would be in a non-partisan way," Rolfe said.

Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie served as the 36th Premier of Queensland, between 1998 and 2007.

Beattie released his autobiography "Making A Difference" in 2005 while still in office.

The former Labor leader calls himself a media tart. He has written countless comment pieces, weighed in on many political issues and from 2015 co-hosted a program on Sky News.

Peter Beattie calls himself a "media tart".

In 2013, he came out of retirement and made an unsuccessful attempt at entering federal politics during the 2013 election.


Former prime minister Julia Gillard,  has been the chair of mental health organisation beyondblue since early 2017. The founder and outgoing chairman Jeff Kennett handed over the reigns after 17 years. Kennett was the 43rd Premier of Victoria (between 1992 and 1999).

Kennett has kept busy since being in political office with a range of roles -- including President of Hawthorn Football Club, a gig as local radio host and commentator for the Seven Network.

Julia Gillard and Jeff Kennett have both chaired depression and anxiety awareness organisation beyondblue.

Gillard hasn't stopped either -- since her political assassination in 2013. She's received various honorary doctorates, written an autobiography and had a library named after her.

"I was also very determined that my book, My Story, in which I detail my time in politics, should lead people to want to be involved in politics and public service" she wrote in a Fairfax article in 2017.

Rolfe says multiculturalism and planning for population growth are areas the outgoing PM is passionate about, and Turnbull is likely to advocate for them in the future.

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