From one of the most senior correspondents in the Canberra Press Gallery comes a rare account of life as a political insider.
Born in a small village in Cyprus, Niki Savva spent her childhood in Melbourne’s working-class suburbs — frontiers where locals were suspicious of olive oil, and Greek kids spoke Gringlish to their parents.
Only a few decades later, despite all the challenges of being a migrant woman in Australia, Savva had risen through the ranks of political journalism at The Australian, and had gone on to head the Canberra bureaus of both the Melbourne Herald Sun and The Age.
Then in 1997, family tragedy struck, and she was forced to reassess her career. In spite of her own Labor convictions, she became Liberal treasurer Peter Costello’s press secretary, a role that she kept for six years before moving on to join John Howard’s staff.
This is one of the few books about Australian political life written by an insider with decades of exposure to its major players. Hilarious, moving, and endlessly fascinating, Savva’s is a story that moves between countries, cultures, careers and, ultimately, political convictions.
'So Greek is ... often funny, always opinionated ... and [about] the power play and shenanigans of Australia’s political media ... This is a great book for students of politics and the media, and for lovers of scuttlebutt everywhere.'
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'She explains how the Canberra machine works, but can step back and see the funny side. The result is a ride that is insightful and remarkably entertaining.'
In The Black
'This intimate memoir of Niki Savva a Greek Cypriot with social democratic sympathies ... is a deeply honest expose of the politics of the Canberra press gallery.'
Sydney Morning Herald
'If you have ever contemplated how the nexus between politicians and journalists in Australia operates this is as good an insight as you are likely to find ... Savva's account of the ongoing battles between Howard and Costello are far more honest than the one found in Costello's own book published last year. Sawa's hard-headed assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of both men as they face certain defeat in the 2007 election is refreshingly honest.'
Michael McGuire, The Advertiser
'[An] excellent memoir ... Savva's book is a compelling and convincing account of her extended Cypriot family's success in this country ... This book is gratifying reading for all who have an interest in how the nation is really governed and how politics actually plays out. Savva writes in an engaging and conversational style.'
Stephen Loosley, The Spectator
'Intelligent, well-written and incredibly knowledgeable.'
Ian Nichols, West Australian
‘A rivetting insider’s account of how politicians, minders, and journalists really operate.’