Jackie Kelly

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The Honourable
Jackie Kelly
Minister for Sport
In office
21 October 1998 – 26 November 2001
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Andrew Thomson
Succeeded by Rod Kemp
Minister for Tourism
In office
21 October 1998 – 26 November 2001
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Andrew Thomson
Succeeded by Joe Hockey
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Lindsay
In office
3 March 1996 – 17 October 2007
Preceded by Ross Free
Succeeded by David Bradbury
Personal details
Born (1964-02-18) 18 February 1964 (age 53)
Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia (1996–2014)
Independent (2014–)
Spouse(s) Gary Clark
Occupation Legal officer

Jacqueline Marie (Jackie) Kelly (born 18 February 1964), former Australian politician, was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1996 until November 2007, representing the Division of Lindsay, New South Wales.

Early career[edit]

Kelly was born in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, and attended the Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College, in North Sydney. She obtained a law degree from the University of Queensland, where she also attained a 'full blue' for rowing, and later represented Australia in the sport.[citation needed] She was a probation and parole officer, and a legal officer with the rank of Squadron Leader in the Royal Australian Air Force, before entering politics.

Political career[edit]

Federal politics[edit]

In 1996, Kelly was elected twice to the seat of Lindsay, based around the suburb of Penrith on the western fringe of Sydney. The first time was at the general election on 2 March 1996; however she was later disqualified because of her RAAF employment, and not having taken steps to renounce her New Zealand citizenship. After addressing these issues, she was re-elected at a by-election on 19 October 1996 with an increased majority.[1]

Kelly married Gary Clark, a local orthodontist, on 5 December 1998. She was Minister for Sport and Tourism and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games from 1998 to 2001, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from 2001 to 2004.

While the first sitting Australian federal parliamentarian to give birth to a child was Ros Kelly in 1983, in 2000 Jackie Kelly became the first serving Australian federal minister to give birth to a child (a daughter named Dominique). In 2001 Kelly was criticised for describing the collapse of Ansett Airlines as a "blip".[2] In 2006, Kelly was paired with Pavel Aubrecht when she competed on Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Ice and was eliminated third.

In May 2007 Kelly announced her intention to retire from federal politics at the 2007 election to be held later that year.

Pamphlet scandal[edit]

On 21 November 2007, three days before the federal election, Kelly's husband Gary Clark was caught with four other people in the electorate of Lindsay handing out fake pamphlets purporting to be from an Islamic group (which did not exist), and thanking the Labor Party for supporting terrorists. Three Liberal Party members (including Gary Clark and the husband of the Liberal candidate for Lindsay Greg Chijoff) were forced to leave the party.[3] Kelly denied any knowledge of the pamphlets prior to their distribution, stating "I think it's basically a Chaser-style prank".[4]

State politics[edit]

In February 2014, Kelly contested the preselection for the seat of Penrith in the NSW parliament, held by incumbent Liberal Stuart Ayres.[5] She was unsuccessful. In October she quit the Liberal Party, citing the excessive influence of lobbyists and the State Executive.[6]

Kelly then contested Penrith at the 2015 New South Wales election as an independent but was unsuccessful against Liberal incumbent Ayres.

She did however directed preferences to her former foes the ALP and against her old party. This contributed to a significant swing away from Ayres on a two-party preferred basis.


  1. ^ "About Jackie". Jackie Kelly MP – Member for Lindsay. 2003. Retrieved 2006-09-01. 
  2. ^ "Tourism Minister under attack over Ansett crisis". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  3. ^ Fake flyer distributors apologise. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
  4. ^ Libs' fake Muslim letter roundly condemned. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
  5. ^ Nicholls, Sean (8 February 2014). "Stuart Ayres' seat of Penrith wanted by former MP Jackie Kelly,". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Bourke, Latika (16 October 2014). "Former Howard government minister Jackie Kelly quits the Liberal Party". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Warwick Smith
Minister for Sport and Tourism
Succeeded by
Rod Kemp
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ross Free
Member for Lindsay
Succeeded by
David Bradbury