Glamorous TV star and mother-of-three Kellie Sloane, 48, makes shock announcement she is running to replace ex NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian – as her surprising political links are revealed
- Former Today Show and Sunrise host set to snatch Gladys Berejiklian’s seat
- Newsreader Kellie Sloane announced she’s seeking preselection in Willoughby
- The mother-of-three will now take time off as CEO of Life Education Australia
Former Today Show and Sunrise host Kellie Sloane has announced her intention to scoop up Gladys Berejiklian’s seat in the NSW Parliament.
Sloane, 48, announced her candidacy as the Independent Commission Against Corruption grills witnesses over the ousted premier’s conduct while in office.
The seat of Willoughby, which Ms Berejiklian has held since 2003, in on Sydney’s lower north shore centred around Chatswood and Artarmon.
She resigned as premier on October 1 when ICAC announced the investigation, and said she would leave parliament when a by-election could be called.
Former Today Show and Sunrise host Kellie Sloane (pictured) has announced her intention to scoop up Gladys Berejiklian’s seat in Sydney’s Willoughby
Since leaving her role as a TV presenter in 2015, Ms Sloane (pictured on Sunrise) has gone on to become a successful business leader becoming CEO of Life Education Australia
Since leaving TV in 2015, Sloane went into business and later became chief executive of Life Education Australia.
The organisation runs the Healthy Harold program to warn school children about the dangers of drugs.
The mother-of-three has long been touted as a potential politician with her popular public persona and marriage to adviser to former prime minister John Howard, Adam Connolly.
‘After encouraging conversations with people in the electorate and with Adam and the kids – I am excited to confirm I will be seeking preselection for the seat of Willoughby,’ she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
‘I will now be taking an unpaid leave from my role as CEO of Life Education Australia.
‘For clarity – yes the Liberal Party. It’s the only preselection process currently underway in Willoughby.’
The by-election to replace Ms Berejiklian is not yet scheduled but the Barossa Valley-born South Australian wants plenty of time to ingratiate herself with locals.
While a state election is not due until March 2023, it appears the Barossa Valley-born South Australian (pictured with SA Premier Steven Marshall) wants plenty of time to smooth things over with Lower North Shore residents who still hope there is a way back for the Ms Berejiklian
Ms Sloane was CEO of National Life Education, known best for the giraffe puppet Healthy Harold, who ventures to schools across the state warning children about the dangers of drugs
Despite the cloud of corruption hanging over the former premier after standing down last month over the alleged mishandling of public grants, she remains a popular figure for her leadership during the Covid pandemic and Bushfire crisis.
Sloane has been living in the suburb of Northbridge with her family for many years and forged her own reputation as a highly regarded community leader.
She was made the chief executive of National Life Education in 2015 and nominated for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards in 2017.
The group aims to empower children and young people to make ‘safe and healthy’ choices.
Ms Sloane also hosted the Morning Show with Larry Emdur up until 2015 when she made her exit from TV
For most NSW residents, they will know National Life Education best by the giraffe puppet Healthy Harold, who ventures to schools warning children about drugs.
Before her inroads into the business world, Sloane was a popular TV presenter.
She worked as a reporter for the ABC in Adelaide and then for Ten News in Sydney before moving to Nine’s A Current Affair in 2005 and eventually joining the Today show for a stint.
But Ms Sloane has been living in the suburb of Northbridge with her family for many years and spawned her own reputation as a highly regarded community leader
She took over from Jessica Rowe, who was on maternity leave in 2007, and hosted the morning program with Karl Stefanovic.
By 2012 she became the understudy for Samantha Armytage on Weekend Sunrise and featured regularly on the Sunrise segment ‘Kochie’s Angels’.
Sloane also hosted the Morning Show on Seven with Larry Emdur up until 2015 when she made her exit from TV.
Why did Gladys Berejiklian resign?
Ms Berejiklian quit on Friday after the state’s corruption watchdog said it was investigating her.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating whether Ms Berejiklian encouraged or allowed corrupt conduct by her secret ex-boyfriend and former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire between 2012 and 2018.
It will also probe whether she breached public trust by not reporting any suspicion of corrupt conduct and what role she had to play in two government grants handed out in Mr Maguire’s electorate.
The NSW corruption watchdog ICAC is investigating whether Ms Berejiklian encouraged or allowed corrupt conduct by her ex-boyfriend and former MP Daryl Maguire (pictured together)
An ICAC public inquiry on the matter will be held for about 10 days from October 18, overseen by Assistant Commissioner Ruth McColl SC.
Mr Maguire is accused of abusing his public office after admitting being involved in a cash-for-visa scheme and seeking secret commissions for brokering property deals. He was forced to resign in 2018.
In an emotional 10-minute speech on Friday Ms Berejiklian denied any wrongdoing and slammed the watchdog for announcing its investigation into her as the state emerges from a four-month Covid lockdown.
‘Resigning at this time is against every instinct in my being and something which I do not want to do,’ she said.
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