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On the Couch
15 October, 2008  
Colleen Egan

Who better to have On the Couch than the reporter who made all the difference for Andrew Mallard. Colleen Egan is an advocacy journalist in the finest sense. For us she bares nearly all


imageColleen Egan is one of Australia’s most prominent investigative journalists.

She’s covered trials at the Old Bailey, hooked exclusive interviews with the likes of Jack Roche, who plotted to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra, and most significantly worked tirelessly to secure justice for wrongly convicted Perth man Andrew Mallard.

In 1998 Mallard’s family approached Egan after legal remedies seemed to have been exhausted.

Along with MP John Quigley, she found new evidence that precipitated a fresh appeal and ultimately a victory in the High Court, secured by barristers Malcolm McCusker and James Edelman and with Clayton Utz in Perth acting pro bono for Mallard.

In 2006 Egan was awarded the Walkley Award for the most outstanding contribution to journalism.

She writes a column for Perth’s Sunday Times.

(Pic: Karin Calvert-Borshoff)

Describe yourself in three words..
Friendly but fierce.

What are you currently reading?
Joe Cinque’s Consolation” by Helen Garner.

What’s your favourite film?
Goodfellas”.

Whom or what do you fantasise about?
None of your business.

What stimulants do you recommend?
Coke, of course.

Describe your underwear.
I’ll dob you in to “Media Watch” for asking that question.

What is your greatest fear?
A society that doesn’t question “why?”.

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Don’t be cheeky. Do as mumma says.

What is your greatest regret?
Not understanding how much I didn’t know, before I knew it.

Whom do you envy and why?
People who can decide when to sleep and just lie down – and sleep.

What is your most disturbing personal obsession?
Seeking out frauds and exposing them.

What’s your most glamorous feature?
The bottom of my champagne glass.

If you were a foodstuff, what would you be?
A pork chop.

What human quality do you most distrust?
Charm.

What would you change about Australia?
Smugness.

Whom or what do you consider overrated?
CSI-style murdertainment TV dramas.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Pick up my one-year-old from her cot.

How would you like to die?
Before my children.

What would your epitaph say?
She cared – and as a result, so did they”.

What comes into your mind when you shut your eyes and think of the word “law”?
My heroes: John Quigley MP, Malcolm McCusker QC and Dr Jamie Edelman (who secured freedom for Andrew Mallard).
My villains: Justices Kevin Parker, Christine Wheeler and Len Roberts-Smith (who denied him justice for two long years).