Brendan Nicholson began his journalistic career with a cadetship at The Timaru Herald, New Zealand, in April 1969.
He went to Africa in December 1973 and travelled widely covering the South African situation, often from the points of view of neighbouring countries embroiled in it.
His interview with the head of the Frontline States group of countries, Zambia's President Kaunda, in 1982 led to the president meeting South African Prime Minister P W Botha in a railway carriage on the South Africa-Botswana border.
He returned to Australia in September 1985 and covered science, environment, politics and general news at the Daily News and then The West Australian in Sept 1987.
Still travelling extensively, he reported as a photo-journalist on the war and famine in Somalia before the Australian peacekeeping troops arrived there and on the aftermath of Chernobyl.
He joined the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery in November 1995 and has covered federal politics, foreign affairs, defence and national security issues for two decades, with The Canberra Times, The Age and The Australian.
For the past six years, he was The Australian’s defence editor.