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“Legacy, power and the truth about politicians”: Lunch with Mark Leibler

065 21st Aug 23 3

Each weekend, The Age/SMH publishes an article featuring a notable person, interviewed over lunch at a venue of their choosing. The latest “Lunch With” article features senior partner Mark Leibler interviewed by the deputy editor of the Sunday Age, Stephen Brook, at All Things Equal café in Balaclava.

The interview traverses various aspects of Mark’s professional and personal life, with Brook describing him as “a man whose influence far exceeds his profile.”

“The art of journalism advises start with a gentle topic, but somehow we are straight into the Holocaust before we have even placed our order,” he writes.

Brook goes on to outline Mark’s family history and his role in Melbourne’s Jewish community, explaining that Mark’s decision to lunch at All Things Equal is also all about family – “it’s a kosher social enterprise set up by his son-in-law and daughter and where his granddaughter, who has autism, works in the kitchen.”

The interview swiftly moves on to Mark’s empathy with First Nations Australians, in particular his former article clerk and friend, Noel Pearson.

Mark tells Brook: “He always looked towards the Jewish community,” Leibler says of his protege. “He said to me on more than one occasion that he would hope that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders could emulate what we’ve succeeded in doing … avoiding assimilation, but achieving full integration.”

Brook writes that Mark has been close to a number of Prime Ministers, noting that Anthony Albanese was guest speaker at Arnold Bloch Leibler’s recent 70th anniversary event in Melbourne.

But ultimately what’s most important in life, Mark says, is family.

“The reality is everything else you’ve done, eventually with time will fade. But if you look at your family, not only will it not fade, but all things being well it will just continue to multiply exponentially and there will always be a bit of you in there and without you it wouldn’t have happened.”

To read the article online, click here.

To read the print article, click here.

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