Author(s): Allan Behm
No, Minister is not about the record: it is about how the record is created and managed by largely unseen people in a volatile and almost always unpredictable environment. It delivers forensic analysis of what goes on back-stage as politicians prosecute their wars of mutual annihilation, the impact a Chief of Staff has on the transaction of public policy and what to do when it all comes crashing down.Nothing prepares a person for the job of Chief of Staff to a Commonwealth Minister. There are no professional development courses, no specialist recruitment agencies and no training manuals. It was into this vortex that Allan Behm became Chief of Staff to Greg Combet in 2009, the minister responsible for managing carbon pricing and the pink batts crisis. A seasoned trouble shooter, Behm had an uncanny ability to anticipate and deflect political crises. By his measure success was being an invisible force.
From 2009 to 2013, Allan Behm was Greg Combet's Chief of Staff in the Defence Materiel, Climate Change and Industry portfolios. An ANU graduate in Asian Studies, he joined Foreign Affairs and was subsequently a strategic and security policy advisor to successive governments in the Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Attorney-General's and Defence. In 2001 he established Knowledge Pond, an international consultancy advising on political and sovereign risk, strategy and security. He continues to publish and comment on international security matters. Allan Behm is currently the CEO of PTSD-ANZ, a not-for-profit supporting people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and their families.