Australian journalist, author, moderator and keynote speaker.
David Leser is an award winning journalist who has worked in Australia, North America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia for the past 43 years. He has worked as a feature writer for the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age, HQ magazine, the Bulletin, the Australian Women’s Weekly and Good Weekend where he is still a regular contributor. He has also served as Asia-Pacific writer for Italian and German Vanity Fair and Australian stringer for Newsweek.
David is the author of seven books, including his anthology of profiles The Whites of Their Eyes; his memoir To Begin To Know, shortlisted for the 2015 National Biography Award; his history of Egon Zehnder, the world’s leading executive search firm, A View from the Lake; and his latest, Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing, a study of patriarchy and misogyny in the context of the #MeToo movement.
David has been a moderator at the Auckland, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Margaret River, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney and Ubud writers festivals. His interview subjects have included Irina Baronova, Bob Brown, Jennifer Byrne, Glenn Carle (CIA), Richard Clapton, Roger Cohen, Blanche D’Alpuget, Andrew Denton, Stephanie Dowrick, Margaret Fink, Richard Flanagan, Malcolm Fraser, Anna Funder, Helen Garner, Peter Garrett, Stan Grant, Rob Hirst, Paul Kelly, Norma Khouri, Zelda La Grange, Michael Leunig, David Marr, John Marsden, Kerry O’Brien, Geoffrey Robertson and Don Watson
David teaches profile writing through the Australian Writers’ Centre and is available for private mentoring. Together with his friend and colleague Shelley Kenigsburg, David also runs Writing in Paradise workshops for budding and/or established writers wanting to work on their manuscripts. These workshops are normally held in Bali or Byron Bay.
David has appeared on national television and radio, as well as on podcast, to talk about his books and journalism. His most recent book Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing has seen him being interviewed by Julia Baird on ABC’s The Drum, Richard Glover on ABC 702, Myf Warhurst on ABC Radio and at several writers festivals and conferences on gender equality.
Since publication of his book Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing in 2019, David has been invited by business groups to give several keynote addresses on the themes of patriarchy, misogyny, gendered violence, gender equality and healthy masculinity. These include ANZ, Champions for Change, Consult Australia, Chief Executive Women, Deloitte, Women’s Rotary, the Leadership Institute and NAB. David has also consulted with – and given keynote addresses to – private boys schools, as well as taken part in an Ethics Centre debate at the Sydney Town Hall on masculinity.