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Brendan Nicholson

Senior Fellow

Contact information


Brendan Nicholson’s career as a journalist has spanned several decades, and for much of that time he has covered defence and national security issues. That included regular trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brendan began his journalistic career with a cadetship at The Timaru Herald, New Zealand, in April 1969.

He went to Africa in December 1973 and travelled widely through the continent covering the South African situation, often from the points of view of neighbouring countries embroiled in it.

His interview with the head of the Frontline States group of countries, Zambia's President Kenneth Kaunda, in 1982 led to the president meeting South African Prime Minister P W Botha in a railway carriage on the South Africa-Botswana border.

He returned to Australia in September 1985 and covered science, environment, politics and general news at the Daily News and then The West Australian in Sept 1987.

Still travelling extensively, he reported as a photo-journalist on the war and famine in Somalia before the Australian peacekeeping troops arrived there and on the aftermath of Chernobyl. For his reporting on Somalia, he received the University of Western Australia’s Arthur Lovekin Medal for excellence in Journalism.

Brendan joined the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery in November 1995 and has covered federal politics, foreign affairs, defence and national security issues for two decades, with The Canberra Times, The Age and The Australian where he was defence editor for six years. He continued his extensive coverage of these issues as defence editor of ASPI’s commentary site, The Strategist.

Recent work