The 17th Australian Financial Review Magazine Power issue was celebrated in style last week with special guest speaker and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton headlining a premium invitation-only cocktail party at Neil Perry’s new Rosetta Ristorante.
The event marked the release of the 2017 Power issue, which has been published with a raft of fresh initiatives under the helm of new editor Matthew Drummond, who hosted the evening.
He was joined on stage by Iñigo Ohlsson, Australia and New Zealand managing director of luxury watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre, which sponsored the event and showcased a vast display of watches amid a unique caviar and cocktail pairing experience by Caviar ambassador Lisa Downs.
Jennifer Hewett, national affairs editor at the AFR, interviewed Dutton – number six on the publication’s Overt Power list – who shared his perspective on power and how politics has changed.
Attendees of the event reflected the positioning of the Power issue and included Australian Bankers’ Association CEO Anna Bligh; George Frazis, CEO of consumer banking at Westpac; and Brian Loughnane, former federal director of the Liberal Party.
Selected photography portraits from the issue were on display throughout the evening, which were inspired by the renowned 1940s and 1950s ‘Corner’ series of images by US photographer Irving Penn.
Michael Stutchbury, editor-in-chief of the AFR, closed the formalities of the evening summarising his view on the current divide between politics and business, and trends in the forces driving power in society today.
With three AFR Magazine editions under his belt, Drummond has stamped his mark with the much-anticipated Power issue, introducing video content from the issue’s photo-shoots for the first time via a collaboration with Australian-New Zealand film production company Exit Films.
This content, created in partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre as part of its campaign around the duality of their iconic Reverso watch, was played throughout the launch event for all to enjoy.
Drummond revamped the panel structure for this year’s Power issue, for the first time introducing a panel of experts to assess cultural power, separate from the main panel which assessed overt and covert power.
The inaugural cultural power panel comprised a cross-section of key decision-makers from Australia’s creative and media industries, including actress Rachel Griffiths, Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason, PwC chief creative officer Russel Howcroft, and Ann Mossop, head of strategic events at the University of NSW.
“It was a privilege to host the Power issue celebration for the first time in six years and welcome 100 guests drawn from the highest echelons of business, politics and the arts in Australia,” Drummond said.
“The calibre of attendees demonstrates the esteem in which the Power issue is held, and the event reflected the perfect combination of style, substance, glamour and gravitas for which the AFR Magazine is renowned.”