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The Australian Financial Review Magazine
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AFR Magazine's annual Power Issue: The definitive analysis of Australia's most powerful people.


AFR Power 2021 list: Premiers Daniel Andrews, Annastacia Palaszczuk, Mark McGowan, Gladys Berejiklian.

Morrison has been unseated by the premiers

The Prime Minister might run the nation and set policy, but it is the state premiers who wield the real power in the pandemic, managing every aspect of ordinary Australians’ lives.

  • Updated
  • Phillip Coorey

Eight of the PM’s most ‘powerful’ quotes

History is filled with examples of exceptional leaders. Only some were exceptional orators. Scott Morrison, without question, deserves to join their ranks.

  • Updated
  • James Schloeffel

The 10 most powerful people in Australia in 2021

This year, the combined might of four premiers has dislodged Scott Morrison from the top of the Power list.

  • Tom McIlroy

Australia’s 10 most covertly powerful people in 2021

The pandemic and national intelligence have added new names to the list of those wielding the greatest influence behind the scenes.

  • Tom McIlroy

The intriguing names left off the covert power list

A diverse and fascinating group of people wield power behind the scenes in the nation - these Australians didn’t make the list but still hold considerable influence.

  • Matthew Drummond

September 2021

Grace Tame, Ash Barty, Chris Hemsworth, Emma McKeon, The Kid Laroi, Tanya Hosch, Bruna Papandrea, the Betoota Advocate, Stephen Page, Mary-Louise McLaws.

The 10 most culturally powerful people in Australia in 2021

Heading the list is Grace Tame, who has been through hell, rebuilt herself in its wake and is now calling those who enabled that hell to account.

  • Brook Turner

Australia’s top five power brokers in law for 2021

This year, for the first time, women occupied the nation’s two most senior positions in the law.

  • Michael Pelly

Australia’s 10 most powerful business leaders in 2021

From the start of the pandemic, the corporate sector had kept calm and carried on. But this year its patience ran out.

  • James Thomson
Left to right: Alan Tudge, Phil Honeywood, David de Carvalho, Peter Coaldrake, Barney Glover.

Australia’s five most powerful education leaders in 2021

Although the impact of COVID-19 on the teaching sector has been profound, the movement to online learning might be its most enduring legacy.

  • Julie Hare

The queen of fortress Queensland

Sunshine State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has won more elections than any other female politician in Australia ... and her power is still on the rise.

  • Mark Ludlow
Left to right: Top property players Denita Wawn, Phil Pearce, David Harrison, Peter Allen, Ming Long.

Australia’s top five property players in 2021

Amid the chaos, remarkable things happened: a rent war in malls, an online shopping boom, a work-from-home revolution and the game changer known as HomeBuilder.

  • Nick Lenaghan
Mike Cannon-Brookes & Scott Farquhar, Melanie Perkins, Craig Blair, Melanie Silva, Robyn Denholm are Australia’s five most powerful people in technology in 2021.

Australia’s top five technology leaders in 2021

A number of big deals in the past 12 months reflect the success of a wave of companies in Australia’s maturing tech sector, as Aussie tech leaders become significant global players.

  • Paul Smith
Left to right: Tara Brady, Tom Seymour, Chris Bradley, Adam Powick, Matt Rennie, Simone Rennie

Australia’s most powerful consultants in 2021

The AFR Magazine’s hotly anticipated annual Power issue includes lists of the key players across six different industry sectors. Here are this year’s most powerful people in consulting.

  • Edmund Tadros

How ATAGI lost its anonymity and political innocence

Medicine and politics collided this year. For the first time, the two men running ATAGI’s response to COVID-19 talk about what happened.

  • Jill Margo

Mathias Cormann at home in Paris after a whirlwind ride

Following a gruelling campaign, Australia’s former finance minister is now in charge of the OECD as it pushes towards a new world order for taxing big tech.

  • Hans van Leeuwen

Australia’s top five deal makers in 2021

In a year when big contracts are flying around like confetti, winners and losers are quickly determined and some old names return to the Power list.

  • Anthony Macdonald and Sarah Thompson

October 2020

Top row, from left: Gladys Berejiklian, Anthony Albanese, Josh Frydenberg. Middle row: Greg Hunt, Scott Morrison, Philip Lowe. Bottom row: Matt Comyn, Brendan Murphy, Daniel Andrews, Mark McGowan.

The 10 most powerful people in Australia in 2020

A man whose work ethic confounds his rivals, a banker who is power coaching the rest of the industry and a politician overlooked by the rest of his party until the pandemic hit. Meet 2020's most powerful.

  • Tom McIlroy
The Prime Minister and Treasurer leave the House of Representatives after question time, August 27.

Premiers, doctors and bankers back in charge but PM still on top

Bushfires of terrifying ferocity, followed by a global pandemic caused by a pathogen visible only with an electron microscope, have shown us real power.

  • Phillip Coorey
Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan on the 2008 cover.

The list to be on: 20 years of the AFR Magazine Power issue

From prime ministerial coups to back-room manoeuvrings, our annual Power issue identifies the Australians shaping the nation.

  • Matthew Drummond
Covert power list members 2020: Sally McManus, Rob Scott, Nev Power.

Australia’s 10 most covertly powerful people in 2020

Australians with the leverage to exert their influence behind the scenes.

  • Tom McIlroy

How Scott Morrison learnt to filter out the noise

As a young MP, Scott Morrison was combative. But as Prime Minister – and facing an invisible enemy – he’s found a new modus operandi.

  • Pamela Williams
AFR Magazine Power issue covers over the past 20 years.

Power challenge now is to lead a stronger recovery

In pandemic times, the 20th anniversary of The Australian Financial Review Magazine's Power issue asks whether overt and covert networks of Australian power can harness the virus disaster to drive the changes needed for the country to emerge stronger.

  • The AFR View
Melissa Leong.

The 10 most culturally powerful people in Australia in 2020

What did Australia’s cultural power luminaries have in common this year? They rose to the challenge of a crisis, then set about making a difference.

  • Brook Turner
AFR Magazine Power list 2020 Property: David Harrison, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Tim Church, Darren Steinberg, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.

New kids on the block join 2020’s property power players

For sheer innovation alone, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar's plan for a $1 billion office tower wins them a placing as commercial real estate developers.

  • Nick Lenaghan

September 2020

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says his priority is getting people back into employment.

Josh Frydenberg has no regrets about unorthodox budget

For the Treasurer, when it comes to preparing this year's budget, flexibility is the new policy black.

  • Jennifer Hewett