Sam Dastyari

Nov 03, 2017, 07:28 AM

Senator Sam Dastyari is among the youngest politicians in Canberra, but in just a few years, he’s attracted more attention than many politicians garner over their entire careers. The combination of compelling backstory – told in his new book, One Halal of a Story – and industrial-strength audacity has meant he’s never far from the limelight.

Dastyari was born in Iran to student activists and arrived in Australia aged four. He joined the ALP shadow cabinet in his early 30s and quickly rose to prominence in the media too, especially for his campaign against corporate tax avoidance. In 2016, however, he resigned from the Labor frontbench after it was revealed he’d allowed a Chinese-linked company to pay a travel bill. In a radical move, Dastyari now calls for a blanket ban on political donations.

At this Fifth Estate session, Sally Warhaft meets a controversial figure in Australian politics. They talk about the inner workings of Parliament House, multiculturalism, memoir and more.

Sally Warhaft and Sam Dastyari — Photo: Sophie Quick