Malcolm Turnbull
Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a millionaire lawyer and former investment banker, walks out of a government party room meeting in Canberra's Parliament House February 9, 2015. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived a challenge to his leadership after his ruling Liberal Party on Monday voted down an attempt to unseat him after weeks of infighting. A secret party room ballot to declare the positions of party leader and deputy leader vacant was voted down 61 votes to 39, chief party whip Philip Ruddock told reporters. Reuters/Sean Davey

Australia’s new Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, is one of the richest politicians in the country with a multi-faceted personality. He has a wealth of experience drawn from various fields. Having proved himself in many professions, this erstwhile journalist, banker, lawyer and businessman has an estimated wealth of AUS$186 million, as reported in 2010.

Mr Turnbull is Australia’s 29th prime minister. The former communications minister, known as “Mr Broadband”, ousted Mr Tony Abbott in an intra party-vote on Sept.14 from the leadership of the Liberal Party, to occupy the highest office in the country.

Brilliant lawyer

Shooting into global fame in the 1980s as a smart lawyer in the Spycatcher case, Mr Turnbull raised many eyebrows as he defeated British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government in the court. He defended the former spy Peter Wright in the “Spycatcher” case and rubbed the British government on the wrong side by overturning its attempts to ban the publication of the ex-MI5 agent’s memoirs.

Regarded as quiet progressive within the conservative Liberal party, Mr Turnbull's positions on many issues have been in stark contrast to that of the outgoing PM Tony Abbott. Turnbull holds moderate views and supports remedial actions on climate change and is also not opposed to gay marriage.

Childhood and education

Born on October 24, 1954, Turnbull had an uneasy childhood. He was raised by his father, Bruce, after his mother Coral Lansbury - a writer, deserted the family and left for her New Zealand home, when he was just eight.

Though state-educated, Mr Turnbull received a scholarship to attend Sydney Grammar. He studied law at the University of Sydney and won a Rhodes scholarship to attend the Oxford University.

Mr Turnbull is married to Lucy Hughes, the daughter of former attorney general of Australia, Tom Hughes. Hughes herself is a former lord mayor of Sydney and would often describe her husband’s outspoken habit of saying what he thinks, as “the soul of indiscretion.”

While staying in England, Mr Turnbull tried his hand in journalism and worked for the Sunday Times. As a barrister, he handled many high-profile cases that included defence of Kerry Packer, the Australian media tycoon, before the Costigan commission in 1984 in the so-called “Goanna” case of tax evasion and organised crime.

In the middle of his legal career, he became a partner in Goldman Sachs in New York. When technology business beckoned him, in the 1990s, he co-founded OzEmail, one of the largest Internet service providers in Australia.

Politics was always part of his family. His maternal great-uncle was George Lansbury -- one of the leading social reformers in Britain and led the Labour party from 1932 to 1935.

Staunch republican

In the 1990s, Turnbull again irked the British establishment by leading the Australian Republican Movement, which forced a referendum in 1999 to replace the Queen as head of state even though they lost the vote.

Turnbull later wrote a book describing his commitment to the republican movement as “pure and simple patriotism, a love of Australia – a desire or passion that all of our national symbols should be unequivocally and unambiguously Australian.”

Australian politics

Turnbull started his innings as the Liberal MP for Wentworth in 2004. Rising through the ranks, he became environment and water resources minister in John Howard’s government. In 2008, he was elected as leader of the opposition. But in 2009, he faced a leadership challenge and lost to Mr Tony Abbott by one vote.

On Sep 14, 2015 he bounced back with a vengeance, and is awaiting the coronation. Having regained the party’s leadership by successfully challenging his friend Mr Abbott, Mr Turnbull has set the ball rolling for his innings as the new PM of Australia .

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