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Master speechwriter Graham Freudenberg is the quintessential political insider. Advisor, confidant, master crafter and repository, his influence extends way beyond speech writing.
Graham was an essential part of the formation and articulation of policies which redefined Australia. His powers of expression continue to inspire and transcend while capturing the very essence of why politics matter.
Good speech writers are ghost orators. Not only do they need to get inside the mind of the speaker, they also need to combine the high visions of policy with the brass knuckle realities of political expediency.
Graham has written speeches for Federal and State leaders from Arthur Calwell to Simon Crean. This group includes Gough Whitlam, Neville Wran, Bob Carr and Bob Hawke, who described him as the 'chameleon' of speech writers. Over fifty years he has adapted his voice to that of his masters and the times.
The Scribe interrogates the symbiotic relationship between the speechwriter and the orator as it explores the craft of political speech writing from the man who re-defined the role in Australia. In the process, it examines the changing language of the political environment from the introduction of TV to the arrival of Trump.
Graham has written over a thousand speeches and The Scribe takes some of these epic speeches and interrogates common themes, many of which are still relevant – war, equality and the changing nature of power in our parliamentary democracy. Whether we realise it or not, Graham's words have shaped our views today.
It is Graham's wonderful ability to combine the high visions of political aspiration with the realities of winning votes that make his insights so significant and relevant. In this time of widespread cynicism about politicians, it is time to step back and ask bigger questions. The Scribe transcends party politics to reflect on the contract between the people and their elected representatives and how that has changed.
Running time: 58 minutes
An ATOM Study Guide for The Scribe is available to download here.
The Scribe is also available for 30-day rental and 1-year rental.