Peta Credlin

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Peta Credlin
Born
Peta-Louise Mary Credlin

(1971-03-23) 23 March 1971 (age 50)
Wycheproof, Victoria, Australia
NationalityAustralian
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
Australian National University
OccupationPolitical adviser, political journalist, lawyer
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)
(m. 2002)

Peta-Louise Mary Credlin (born 23 March 1971) is an Australian political commentator and former political advisor who served as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Tony Abbott from September 2013 to September 2015. She was previously chief of staff to Abbott as Leader of the Opposition. Since 2016, she has been the host of Credlin and co-host of Jones & Co on Sky News Live. Credlin is a controversial[1][2][3] figure in Australian politics and commentary and she is frequent a source of criticism and debate.

Early life and education[edit]

Peta Credlin was born to Len and Brenda Credlin in the small Victorian country town of Wycheproof. Her family moved closer to Geelong, and she attended Sacred Heart College, where she was a member of the debating team and elected Deputy School Captain in her second year. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne with a concentration in constitutional law, politics and history in 1998. At university Credlin resided at Newman College, won a number of prizes and awards, and was a member and national finalist of the 1995 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition Team. After graduation, she was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Victoria, and applied for a job as a political staffer with Liberal Senator Kay Patterson in 1999.[4]

She obtained a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice with Distinction from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2010, where she won the ACT Law Society Prize for the top student of 2009. She is currently[when?] completing a Master of Laws degree at the ANU.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

After working for several years on Patterson's staff, Credlin moved to become an adviser to Senator Richard Alston, the Minister for Communications in the Howard Government.[4] She then left politics, and worked for three years as public relations manager for Racing Victoria. Tired of the commute between Melbourne and Canberra, where her husband Brian Loughnane was based, Credlin returned to her career as a political staffer, working for senators Robert Hill and Helen Coonan.[4]

When the Howard Government was defeated at the 2007 federal election, Credlin moved to Sydney to work at the Jockey Club until she was asked by Brendan Nelson, who had been elected federal Liberal leader and Leader of the Opposition, to join his staff as a senior adviser. When Malcolm Turnbull challenged Nelson for the party leadership, Nelson counselled her to join Turnbull's team, and she was appointed as deputy chief of staff in his office. When Turnbull himself was challenged and defeated by Tony Abbott in December 2009, Credlin joined Abbott's staff as chief of staff.[4] She rose to prominence when the Coalition won the 2013 federal election and she became Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.[5][6][7][8] She continued in that role until the Liberal Party leadership ballot of 14 September 2015, in which Abbott was defeated and replaced as leader by Malcolm Turnbull.

Credlin became a Sky News Australia contributor in May 2016,[9][10] with her first appearance on 7 May 2016 during a special weekend edition of PM Agenda.[11] She began co-hosting a weekly primetime program Credlin & Keneally from 16 November 2016 until 17 May 2017.[12] Credlin hosts her own show Peta Credlin each weeknight on Sky News Australia. As a journalist and political commentator, Credlin has come under fire for her perceived partisanship. Crikey's Paula Matthews wrote in February 2017 that Credlin's support for Tony Abbott and criticism of then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull "takes media partisanship to its extreme" and represents "the channelling of a politician directly through a media mouthpiece".[13]

Credlin has been an ardent critic of the Victorian government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly of the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews. Credlin has been lauded by fellow Sky News hosts for her aggressive questioning of Andrews during his daily press conferences during the pandemic.[14] The Age has been more circumspect about Credlin's criticisms of Andrews, describing her appearances at Andrews' press conferences as "a mixture of overt political partisanship interlaced with some good journalism."[15]

In 2020, Credlin caused controversy after claiming in a Sky News broadcast that South Sudanese Australians were not following government measures intended to stop the spread of COVID-19 due to problems with language proficiency, and that “poorly-assimilated" South Sudanese migrants had ignored restrictions in an “end-of-Ramadan feast”.[16] Credlin's statement was harshly criticized in the media, with SBS News noting that the vast majority of South Sudanese people are actually Christians.[17] The Conversation's Denis Muller described Credlin's comments as "a toxic mixture of vitriol and ignorance".[18] Crikey's Charlie Lewis described the broadcast as "racist" and "fact-free", and linked it to a pattern of racially-charged reporting on Sky,[19] while The Conversation's Janak Rogers perceived it as illustrative of a broader problem of lack of ethnic diversity in Australian media.[20] Credlin subsequently made an on-air apology to the South Sudanese community.[21]

In November 2020, Credlin published an article in the conservative, Murdoch-owned Herald Sun which equated Victoria's COVID-19 lockdown with war crimes committed by the Australian SAS.[22]

During 2020, former Labor Primeminister Kevin Rudd started a petition for a Royal Commission into Murdoch owned media.[23] Credlin claimed that the petition was a "data harvesting exercise" of email addresses by Rudd intended for political uses.[23] Later, as part of a confidential settlement regarding defamation, Credlin in February 2021 made an apology to Rudd on Sky News for her comments.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Credlin is married to Brian Loughnane, a former federal director of the Liberal Party of Australia, since December 2002. They had worked together in the Victorian office of the Liberal Party during the campaign for the 2001 federal election.[24] The couple have no children.

In 2013, Credlin pleaded guilty to a drink driving offence, recording a blood alcohol level of 0.075 but did not have a conviction recorded against her.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff and agencies (11 March 2016). "John Howard confirms he advised Tony Abbott to sack Peta Credlin". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021. The former Liberal prime minister John Howard has confirmed he advised Tony Abbott to remove Peta Credlin, his controversial chief of staff, before Abbott was dumped as leader by his party.
  2. ^ Bourke, Latika (12 December 2014). "Peta Credlin critics are sexist, Tony Abbott claims during TV slap down". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 6 January 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2021. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told colleagues attacking his controversial chief of staff to "take a long hard look at themselves" and accused them of attacking Peta Credlin because she is female.
  3. ^ Matthewson, Paula (16 September 2015). "Peta Credlin on the outer after two-for-one deal". The New Daily. Retrieved 9 January 2021. Most powerful woman in Australia one day, pulped magazine cover the next – such is the fate of Peta Credlin, the controversial former chief of staff to ousted Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
  4. ^ a b c d Legge, Kate (5 November 2011). "Who's the boss?". The Australian. Retrieved 10 December 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "'Control freak' Peta Credlin accused of pulling Coalition strings". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 November 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Credlin critics told to 'back off' by Mathias Cormann". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 November 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/give-peta-credlin-some-credit-and-give-her-a-break/story-fn53lw5p-1226777343733#
  8. ^ "Tony Abbott dismisses 'obsessive' slur on chief of staff Peta Credlin". Theland.com.au. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Meade, Amanda (31 March 2016). "Peta Credlin joins Sky News as 2016 election campaign commentator". The Guardian Australia. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Knox, David (31 March 2016). "Peta Credlin joins SKY News". TV Tonight. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Knox, David (6 May 2016). "Peta Credlin in first SKY News appearance". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 May 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Knox, David (3 October 2016). "Airdate: Credlin & Keneally". TV Tonight. Retrieved 4 October 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Matthewson, Paula (28 February 2017). "Abbott prefect Credlin takes media partisanship to its extreme". Crikey. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  14. ^ Meade, Amanda (23 October 2020). "'Lethal' weapon: Sky News hosts gush as Peta Credlin promises exposé on Deadly Decisions". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  15. ^ Muller, Denis (19 October 2020). "Are Peta Credlin's corona-performances journalism?". The Age. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  16. ^ Blackston, Hannah (29 June 2020). "Sky News and Peta Credlin apologise for false reporting on COVID-19 outbreak". Mumbrella. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  17. ^ Razik, Naveen (29 June 2020). "Peta Credlin apologises for inaccurately blaming South Sudanese for coronavirus outbreak". SBS News. Archived from the original on 14 November 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  18. ^ Muller, Denis (22 July 2020). "Whether a ratings chase or ideological war, News Corp's coronavirus coverage is dangerous". The Conversation. Archived from the original on 3 December 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  19. ^ Lewis, Charlie (30 June 2020). "Is racism at Sky a mistake or a business model? Here's the evidence, you decide". Crikey. Archived from the original on 8 January 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  20. ^ Rogers, Janak (7 July 2020). "Australia's media has been too white for too long. This is how to bring more diversity to newsrooms". The Conversation. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  21. ^ Razik, Naveen (29 June 2020). "Peta Credlin apologises for inaccurately blaming South Sudanese for coronavirus outbreak". SBS News. Archived from the original on 14 November 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  22. ^ https://www.heraldsun.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=HSWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.heraldsun.com.au%2Fnews%2Fopinion%2Fpeta-credlin-we-must-demand-answers-on-covid-deaths-in-victoria%2Fnews-story%2F7cfd8fdb78f857ffdc38770ec3f4fd3f&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium&v21suffix=138-b
  23. ^ a b c Meade, Amanda (1 February 2021). "Peta Credlin forced to apologise to Kevin Rudd over false data harvesting claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Knott, Matthew (23 December 2011). "Brian Loughnane and Peta Credlin". Crikey: The Power Index: Power Couples. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ "Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott's chief of staff, avoids punishment on drink-driving charge". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ Cadzow, Jane (5 April 2004). "Ms Fix-it". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 December 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]