Bad boss? Bureaucrats defend ‘bully’ Rudd

Nicola Roxon, health minister in the Rudd government, says her boss was abusive to public servants and dismissive of their work. Top officials at the time have a different recollection and Rudd says it wasn’t his fault.

ABC’s The Killing Season last night continued reporter Sarah Ferguson’s forensic autopsy of the Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard governments in its second episode, in which social media favourite Ken Henry returned to defend Rudd from more accusations of bad behaviour.


There were frequent rumblings of staff dissatisfaction and turnover in the Prime Minister’s Office under Rudd, and early on included rumours of poor treatment of top officials.

Military chiefs and departmental secretaries were left waiting outside his office for hours after being summoned. As the prime minister’s diary spun out of control, nobody thought to send them back to their own offices to be called on later, the press gallery reported.

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  • rfismith

    Mr Rudd was a complex and demanding man to work for. But what was most aggravating for subject matter specialists was that on issues he had the time to get on top of he was often right. However giving him contrary advice was more than a bit of a discipline. It could be done with good results; but it took a bit of doing. I retain a lot of respect for his values, intellect and drive.