As they settle into their new Canberra digs, there is no doubting the Prime Minister elect Kevin Rudd and his multi-millionaire wife Therese Rein are Australia’s ultimate power couple. It is fitting then that Mr Rudd and Ms Rein lead off Crikey’s inaugural Power Couples List .
To qualify for the “power couple” list, both partners need to be independently successful (for example, while John Howard is the most powerful person in Australia, Janette takes a more supportive role). Also, to qualify for the list, both partners cannot work in the same business source (therefore, Bill and Imelda Roche are excluded as their success derives from their joint role in creating Nutrimetics).
- Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein
Rudd has recently been swept to power as Australia’s first Labor Prime Minister in more than a decade. His wife, Theresa Rein, is a multi-millionaire businesswoman. Rein created employment agency Therese Rein Job Services in 1988. The company, now known as Igneus has sales in excess of $175 million. Rein announced that she will sell the Australian arm of the business to avoid conflict with her husband’s role.
- Allan Moss AO and Irene Moss
Moss is CEO of the $21 billion Macquarie Bank and Australia’s highest paid executive (earning $33 million last year). His wife, Irene Moss is the former commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption and is currently chairperson of Australia’s Right to Know Coalition (an organisation which includes AAP, the ABC, News Limited and Fairfax). Irene Moss was the NSW Ombudsman for five years and also served as a Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner.
- Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull is a heartbeat away from becoming Liberal leader after a mere three years in Parliament. The former Rhodes scholar has had a stellar career, first as a barrister, then in-house counsel for Kerry Packer, before becoming a successful merchant banker and entrepreneur. His wife, Lucy, is no slouch, serving as Sydney’s first female Lord Mayor, as well as being a successful lawyer and board member of several companies, including Melbourne IT and fund manager, Pengana Holdings.
- David Morgan and Ros Kelly AO
Morgan is the retiring CEO of Westpac (soon to be replaced by Gail Kelly). The former senior deputy secretary of the Treasury earned a handsome $8.4 million last year and owns more than $50 million of Westpac shares. Ros Kelly was a former minister in the Hawke and Keating governments (with roles including Defence, Communications and Environment). Kelly’s political career came to a premature end after the infamous “sports-rorts” affair where she was accused of determining sports funding from her office whiteboard, favouring certain seats.
- Margaret Jackson and Roger Donazzan
Jackson is Australia’s most prolific female board member. Jackson recently retired as chairwoman of Qantas but remains a non-executive director of ANZ. She was previously a director of BHP and Pacific Dunlop as well as a partner of accounting firm, KPMG. Donazzan is a former senior partner at national law firm, Minter Ellison and is believed to have recently sold his interest in the popular Niseko ski resort in Hokkaido.
- Nicole Kidman AC and Keith Urban
Kidman is one of Australia’s most successful screen actresses, winning an Oscar for Best Actress for The Hours. Kidman’s wealth is estimated at $237 million by BRW (up from $200 million in 2006), partly due to her rumoured salary of $17 million per movie but also courtesy of a lucrative divorce settlement with former husband, Tom Cruise. Keith Urban is Australia’s most successful country music singer, with two albums reaching #1 on the US Billboard charts. BRW estimated that Urban earned more than $20 million last year, despite spending time in a rehabilitation clinic. If the rumours are true, Kidman and Urban may not be on next year’s list.
- Jane Turner and John Denton
Turner is one of Australia’s best known comedians, as one half of the top-rating duo Kath and Kim. Turner, who first appeared in the ABC’s D-Generation before joining the cast of Fast Forward, is one of the highest paid entertainers in the country, being lured to Seven for a reported $3 million. Turner’s husband, John Denton, is a highly respect former diplomat, who has been CEO of law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth for the past seven years. Denton’s leadership has drawn widespread praise for rejuvenating for former top-tier firm.
- Natasha Stott-Despoja and Ian Smith
Stott-Despoja is a soon to be former-Democrats senator and former leader. She was re-elected in 2001 with the highest vote of any Australian senator. Her husband, Ian Smith, is the Australian Executive Chairman of the very successful public relations firm, Gavin Anderson & Co (subsidiary of international firm Omnicom Group). Gavin Anderson has Liberal Party links, with the firm advising the Government on the recent T3 share sale.
- Anthony Albanese and Carmel Tebbutt
Anthony Albanese is the Federal Labor member for Grayndler and was recently appointed Minister for Transport, Regional Development and Local Government in Kevin Rudd’s Cabinet. Carmel Tebbutt is the member for Marrickville in the NSW parliament. Tebbutt was previously the Minister for Aging, Disability Services, Youth and Community Affairs (while a member of the NSW Legislative Council). In 2005 Tebbutt became NSW Minister for Education and Training (a role she relinquished in April).
- Tanya Plibersek and Michael Coutts-Trotter
Plibersek is the federal member for Sydney and was recently appointed as the Minister for Housing and the Status of Women in the Kevin Rudd ministry. Her husband, Coutts-Trotter, is the Director General of the NSW Department of Education and Training and the former director general of the NSW Department for Commerce.
- Janine Allis and Jeff Allis
Janine Allis is the founder and CEO of Boost Juice. Boost has 179 stores and is expected to turn over more than $100 million in group sales for 2007. Jeff Allis worked at Austereo for more than 20 years, rising to the role of program director of 2Day and MMM. Jeff now works at Boost but qualifies for the list by virtue of his role at Austereo.
- Sarah O’Hare and Lachlan Murdoch
O’Hare is a one of Australia’s most successful models, previously appearing as the Wonderbra model and the face of Bonds underwear. O’Hare recently turned her attention to television, co-hosting the Today program while Jessica Rowe was on maternity leave. While Lachlan Murdoch stepped away from executive roles at News Corp in 2005, he remains a non-executive director of the media giant.
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