After an early career in Melbourne radio, Astbury made a successful jump to television - firstly for the often-struggling Channel 0/10 network before accepting a lucrative offer to work for the pre-eminent Channel 9 network.
Following a motoring accident in Perth, whilst on a sports assignment at the height of his career, he was badly injured and subsequently became addicted to painkillers and his career collapsed. Astbury sued an insurance company but initially lost the court case and was financially broken by legal fees. He took a temporary job in Queensland's booming Gold Coast property market and within five years was the state's top saleman after introducing marketing ideas gained from his TV career. For this he won many awards. Astbury was then offered a job selling real estate in the Thailand resort of Pattaya. He was instrumental in streamlining the company he worked for into a highly successful property developer. The company has embarked on a 91 level project which will be one of the tallest residential buildings in the world : www.Ocean1tower.com. He is now developing a model dairy farm in Northern Thailand.
Astbury also filed news reports for the internet site crikey.com.au, detailing his eyewitness report on the Tsunami that devastated Phuket whilst Astbury was holidaying there, and the recent army coup. His lectures on the Australian speaker's circuit have been inspirational and entertaining.
In 2005, after Graham Kennedy died, Melbourne talk back host Derryn Hinch publicly outed Astbury as being gay, reported that Astbury was Kennedy’s lover for 20 years, and revealed that Astbury was HIV positive. Hinch also claimed that Graham Kennedy had died of AIDS but eventually withdrew this claim and publicly apologised. The public indignation motivated Astbury to openly campaign for gay rights and AIDS education.
In October 2006 he published a book King and I: My Life With Graham Kennedy, which, at first, infuriated former friends and colleagues of Kennedy for revealing intimate details of their sex life . Astbury During the book Launch
At the launch of King and I in Melbourne in October 2006 Astbury announced he would be standing for the Australian Senate on a platform of equal rights for gay couples and HIV/AIDS education in the next General Election held in 2007. Prior to the election Astbury decided not to pursue his political aspirations but announced he would vote Labor for the first time in his life.
He is now completing his much anticipated autobiography "Twice as Hard" which is also expected to be a best seller.
His personal website is www.robastbury.com