Anna Bligh, former premier of Queensland, is best remembered for her calm, focused and practical leadership during the Queensland floods, one of Australia’s largest national disasters. She was the first woman to be elected premier of an Australian state in her own right – and spent over 17 years in the rough and tumble of the Queensland parliament, seven of them as deputy premier or premier.
Bligh was raised by a single mother on the then working-class Gold Coast; her estranged father struggled with alcoholism. Her life is a study in resilience, from her rise to the top of politics from these hardscrabble origins, to her post-politics life following her party’s defeat in the 2012 state election, when she was diagnosed with cancer.
In her memoir, this formidably strong high achiever reflects candidly on the lessons of leadership, resilience, community and family. She’ll be taking those personal and political reflections to our stage, as she shares the obstacles she’s faced on her journey to the top – and as she’s forged a new path in her life after politics.
In conversation with Lisa Waller, senior lecturer in journalism at Deakin University.
In March 2009, Anna Bligh made history as the first woman to lead a party to victory in a State election in Australia. She is now the CEO of the NSW YWCA.
Lisa Waller is a senior lecturer in Communication at the School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University. Her research centres on questions about how news shapes society, especially at the local level, but also in fields including the justice system and policymaking.