David Leser is a multi-award winning journalist who has worked in Australia, North America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia for the past 44 years.
He is the winner of the Walkley award for feature writing for his expose of Alan Jones in Good Weekend magazine, called Who’s Afraid of Alan Jones. He has been a Walkley finalist on three other occasions in the categories of feature writing, coverage of Asia and sports reporting. He is also the recipient of a human rights commendation for journalism and three national magazine awards for feature writing.
David has worked as a feature writer for the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age, HQ magazine, the Bulletin, Good Weekend, the Australian Women’s Weekly, Italian and German Vanity Fair, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
He has also worked as a Washington D.C and Jerusalem-based correspondent.
David is the author of 7 books, including a memoir: To Begin to Know: Walking in the Shadows of My Father which was shortlisted for the 2015 National Biography Award. He is also editor of Paul Kelly: The Essays (2012), as well as Executive Producer of the award-winning Australian documentary Paul Kelly: Stories of Me.
David’s latest book Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing - about the history of patriarchy and misogyny in the age of #MeToo - was published in 2019 in Australia and New Zealand by Allen & Unwin, and in the United States in 2021 by Pegasus Books.
Born in Montreal, David is a senior contributing writer to Good Weekend magazine and also works as a keynote speaker, public interviewer, guest lecturer, writing mentor, and speech writer.
When I read Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing, I thought, `how can I get this into the minds of Australian business leaders?' It turns out 30 minutes with David Leser is enough to change the ... keep reading mindset of 60 Australian c-suite leaders. He is a critical part of any gender equality conversation. Deloitte
David Leser brings a powerful and unique voice to one of the most complex issues of our time - gender equality, respect for women, and the ways women and men can become better allies to each other. His insights gleaned from researching and writing Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing provide a crucial, refreshing and respectful male voice to the conversations we are all needing to have as leaders. I have not met a more important male advocate for how we navigate a more inclusive future together. For most of my career, I have sat on panels wrestling with these topics - David's arrival as a new, deeply informed voice has never been more welcome, and needed. I have observed conversations taking new directions, and audiences re-examining their roles and responsibilities in light of David's contribution. He is a game-changer at this momentous time.
I have invited David to speak at a number of high level Champions of Change meetings because of his skills as a writer and speaker on the subject of gender equality. David's book Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing was - and remains - a landmark achievement that demonstrates the power of men being constructively engaged in helping break down the barriers to equality.
David was engaged to speak to a group of senior executives at ANZ on the topic of gender diversity and delivered a powerful, confronting, thoughtful and empathetic session. One male executive commented that learning from David was ‘life changing’.