Leigh Sales

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Leigh Sales

Secretary Clinton Participates in a Global Town Hall (8430601966).jpg
Sales (left) hosting a Global Town Hall with Hillary Clinton in January 2013
Born (1973-05-10) 10 May 1973 (age 48)[1][2]
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
EducationAspley State High School
Alma materQueensland University of Technology
Deakin University
OccupationJournalist, author
Years active1995–present
EmployerAustralian Broadcasting Corporation
Phil Willis
(m. 1996; separated 2016)

Leigh Peta Sales AM (born 10 May 1973) is an Australian journalist and author. She is the host of the Australian television channel ABC's news and current affairs program 7.30.[3] In 2019, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to broadcast journalism.[4]


Sales was born in Brisbane and attended Aspley State High School in that city.[3] She receive a bachelor of journalism from the Queensland University of Technology and Master of International Relations from Deakin University.[5] Sales joined the ABC in Brisbane in 1995.[3]

Since then, Sales has held several prominent roles with the ABC and was New South Wales political reporter covering the 1999 and 2007 state elections. In addition, she reported on the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Sales was the network's Washington correspondent from 2001 to 2005. The stories which she covered included the Iraq War, the 2004 presidential election, Guantanamo Bay and Hurricane Katrina[6]

From 2008 to 2010, Sales was a co-host of the ABC's Lateline, a late-night national current affairs show with a heavy emphasis on federal politics and international affairs. She was the ABC's national security correspondent from 2006 until 2008 and was based in Sydney.

In 2011, Sales was appointed anchor of the ABC's current affairs program, 7.30. She has interviewed every living Australian prime minister and many world leaders and celebrities, including Hillary Clinton,[7] the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Sir Paul McCartney, Patti Smith, and Salman Rushdie.

Publishing career[edit]

Her first book, Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks, was published in 2007 by Melbourne University Publishing (MUP).[8] The book covers Hicks' case as well as a detailed explanation of the Bush administration's detainee policy in the War on Terror[9] and the Australian government's cooperation.

Sales' second book, On Doubt, was published in 2009 as part of MUP's series Little Books on Big Themes. It covers the rise of opinion in place of straight news reporting and the value of bringing a sceptical mindset to politics and policy, instead of ideological certainty. A second edition was published in 2017, with an additional chapter noting the Trump presidency and the rise of fake news.

Her third book, Any Ordinary Day, was published in October 2018.[10] It examines the way people adapt to life-changing blindsides, drawing on Sales' personal experience as well as her years covering high-profile news events that drastically changed people's lives.

Sales' writing has also regularly appeared in major Australian publications, including The Monthly, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and, before its demise, The Bulletin.

Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast[edit]

In November 2014, Sales started a podcast with Annabel Crabb called Chat 10 Looks 3. It is independent of the work they do for other media outlets and is an opportunity for them to talk about books, movies, television, the media and culture.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

Sales was married to Phil Willis and they have two children.[13][14] After 20 years of marriage, Sales and Willis separated in December 2016.[15]

Awards and recognition[edit]


  • Detainee 002 : The Case of David Hicks. 2007.
  • On Doubt (2009)
  • "Born again". The Monthly. 44: 19–20. April 2009.
  • Any Ordinary Day: Blindsided, Resilience, and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life (2018)


  1. ^ Record at ISNI
  2. ^ "Happy Thursday May 10th, 2018", 4BU, 10 May 2018
  3. ^ a b c Interview with Leigh Sales by Wendy Squires, Daily Life (The Sydney Morning Herald), 16 December 2012.
  4. ^ "2019 Queen's Birthday Honours List", Commonwealth of Australia
  5. ^ "The Sales Report", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 December 2012)
  6. ^ a b "7.30 About Us", Australian Broadcasting Corporation (21 February 2013)
  7. ^ "Australian moderates Clinton's farewell talkfest", The Sydney Morning Herald (30 January 2013)
  8. ^ "Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  9. ^ Sales, Leigh (2007). Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks. ISBN 9780522854008. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Any Ordinary Day review: Leigh Sales and negotiations with sudden grief" by Astrid Edwards (review of Any Ordinary Day), The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 October 2018
  11. ^ "Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb launch new podcast". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Chat 10 Looks 3". Chat 10 Looks 3. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  13. ^ O'Dwyer, Erin (19 July 2015). "Powerhouse women of the ABC". Daily Life. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  14. ^ Acott, Antonia (11 March 2015). "Leigh Sales climbs back to the top". The New Daily. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Leigh Sales: 'It just started to feel like nothing was safe' " by Amanda Hooton, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 2018
  16. ^ "Herald Sun's "Lawyer X" wins 2019 Gold Walkley Award". The Walkley Foundation. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Leigh Peta Sales". honours.pmc.gov.au. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Leigh Sales wins Walkley for best interview", Australian Broadcasting Corporation (1 December 2012)
  19. ^ "ABC Journalist wins George Munster Journalism Award", Australian Broadcasting Corporation (13 September 2009)

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Virginia Trioli
Presenter (Monday, Tuesday & Friday)

Succeeded by
Ali Moore
Preceded by
Presenter with Chris Uhlmann