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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.


Australia’s 10 most powerful people in 2023

Government, the ultimate power in this country, is being shaped by very different political forces than those brought to bear at the 2022 election.

  • Updated
  • Tom McIlroy

The Shovel’s satirical take on the PwC affair

Has outsourcing public service matters fallen out of favour and should the federal government pivot for a quick win?

  • James Schloeffel

Australia’s most powerful people in education in 2023

There are significant changes ahead for the way children are taught in schools and the cross-section of students at universities.

  • Julie Hare

We asked ChatGPT to write for the Power issue. How did it go?

Each year, experts decide who holds the reins in Australia. The high-stakes ritual unfolds in a secretive meeting that feels part think tank, part reality show.

  • ChatGPT
An AI-generated image of Margot Robbie at the prime minister’s desk that used a real photo of Scott Morrison as a reference.

What we learnt when making AI images for the 2023 Power issue

Our team taught artificial intelligence to make portraits, like this one of Margot Robbie. The results show how it’s learning about 21st-century culture.

  • Updated
  • Matthew Drummond


The power pivot: Albanese in front, teals are gone

With unions on the march, the Greens on the up and support for the Voice trending down, the federal government has hit rocky terrain.

  • Phillip Coorey

The 10 most covertly powerful people in Australia in 2023

Those who wield the most clout behind the scenes in the nation’s business and politics.

  • Tom McIlroy

The challenges chipping away at the PM’s power

If the Voice goes down on October 14, Anthony Albanese will have to turn his full attention to grappling with the inflation and cost of living issues.

  • The AFR View

The power of data: What skyscrapers tell you about a country’s clout

As Australia rises on the global stage, the man behind the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index reveals his indicators of prestige and real influence.

  • Lisa Murray

The power of data: here’s what the Financial Review knows about you

You probably just read about house prices. If we’re doing our jobs, you’ll peruse this too.

  • Lauren Vadnjal

The 10 most culturally powerful people in Australia in 2023

What does it mean to be Australian today? Here are the 10 people who made the biggest mark on culture this year, as chosen by the Power panel.

  • Lisa Murray

‘Don pulls strings’: Meet the Albanese government’s key powerbroker

Don Farrell might not be in the prime minister’s inner circle, but his tacit support is vital.

  • Phillip Coorey

Sheilas, blue heelers and a scene stealer: cultural power in 2023

The people who are behind a new era for women’s sport in Australia, an unlikely feminist icon and the first arts policy in decades.

  • Lisa Murray and Matthew Drummond

Australia’s top five powerbrokers in the law for 2023

In what has been a transformative year for the sector, these are the nation’s most influential legal leaders.

  • Michael Pelly

The power of data: How popular was Succession? It’s secret. Here’s why

Never before has so much information been collected on your viewing habits, and yet less and less is known about what you are watching.

  • Zoe Samios
Alan Joyce and Anthony Albanese at a Yes campaign event at Sydney Airport last month.

After a smooth take-off, big business and Albanese have hit turbulence

Cost-of-living pressures, plus more corporate scandals, are straining relations between companies and Canberra.

  • James Thomson

Australia’s 10 most powerful business leaders in 2023

In the ultimate view of the Power panel, the sheer size of Commonwealth Bank’s consumer-facing business lifted Matt Comyn to the top of the list.

  • James Thomson

The power of data: Forget Twitter, the party’s moved to WhatsApp

As Australians lose interest in sharing their opinions on social media platforms, they are instead jumping into group chats.

  • Mark Di Stefano

Australia’s five most powerful tech leaders for 2023

From a funding winter to cyberattacks and the rise of artificial intelligence, it has been a big year for Australian techies.

  • Paul Smith

Australia’s five most powerful people in property for 2023

The sector has been riding the interest rate rollercoaster over the past year as housing supply moved to the top of the national agenda.

  • Nick Lenaghan

The power of data: Why polling is more accurate since Brexit and Trump

Pollsters were wrong about our federal election, Britain leaving the EU and Donald Trump’s victory. But if you don’t trust such survey results, think again.

  • Samantha Hutchinson

The most powerful people in the consulting sector in 2023

Last year, the nation’s key players were from the top five firms. This year, they are all outsiders.

  • Edmund Tadros

Australia’s five most powerful deal makers in 2023

Here are the key players pulling the most strings in the investment banking sector, helped by fortifying client relationships and staying close to boards.

  • Sarah Thompson and Kylar Loussikian

A note on this year’s Power issue – and why we published AI deepfakes

When our overt, covert and cultural power lists appear on towards the end of the week, you’ll notice some rather bizarre images of our power listers.

  • Matthew Drummond

September 2022

Australia’s 10 most powerful people in 2022

This time last year, there was considerable argument about whether Anthony Albanese should even make the top 10, such was his struggle for relevance.

  • Tom McIlroy