McKinnon Prize 2019 Selection Panel

Peta Credlin AO

A strategist and policy professional with over sixteen years’ experience at the highest levels of Australian politics, Peta Credlin was Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, between 2013 and 2015. First joining his office when he was elected Leader of the Opposition in 2009, Credlin served six years as his chief of staff and ran the leader’s campaign in the 2010 and 2013 federal elections.

A political and campaign veteran, Peta is one of the longest serving chiefs of staff to a national leader in Australia and the longest serving female chief of staff to a prime minister. Previous ministerial roles in the Howard Government included the portfolios of defence, communications, immigration and foreign affairs, as well as the role of senior adviser to the Senate leader.

Now a Sky News anchor with her own programme, ‘Credlin’ at 6pm weeknights, Peta is a national columnist for News Corp and published weekly in The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Herald-Sun and Queensland’s Sunday Mail. She was a proud contributor to Sky’s 2016 federal election coverage, which won a Walkley Award and a TV Week Logie, both first time accolades for the Sky News network.

Born and raised in country Victoria before finishing her secondary education in Geelong, Peta Credlin has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne with a concentration in constitutional law, politics and history. She was a Rotary Exchange Student to the United States in 1987 and a university level rower.

Peta is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in Victoria and has a further post-graduate qualification in law from the Australian National University. In 2015, she received the Australian Women’s Leadership Award for the ACT and in December 2016, was named a joint winner of Harper’s Bazaar magazine’s ‘Woman of the Year”. In 2017, Peta was selected by the Australian/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council to visit Israel as a Rambam Fellow. Peta Credlin is listed on the official ‘Who’s Who in Australia’ as well as the “Who’s Who of Australian Women’. For many years, she appeared in the Australian Financial Review’s ‘Power List’ and in 2015 was named Australia’s most powerful woman by the Australian Women’s Weekly, with a number two ranking the previous year.

Peta is also a Director of Crown Resorts Foundation.