Journalist, broadcaster and television personality, Lisa Wilkinson, explains how her early
childhood experiences with school-yard bullying have helped shape her career and
successes, in an exclusive interview with Channel Nine’s The Bottom Line (airing Saturday
3 May at 4.00pm).
In this personal and inspiring tell-all, Wilkinson reveals to host Alex Malley (Chief Executive
of CPA Australia) that being a target of bullying at an early age forced her to give up her
dreams of becoming a ballerina.
“You want to disappear, you don’t want to stand out from the crowd, you don’t want to be
good at anything because that just makes you more of a target…it was made clear to me
that ballet was very uncool and so I gave it up…”
Wilkinson, who grew up in Campbelltown in Sydney’s western suburbs, tells Malley that
whilst giving in to the pressures of bullying is still her biggest regret, the defining moment
also serves as a great reminder for her in her day-to-day approach to life and work.
“I made a promise to myself that I would never let anyone else decide who I am…the slate
was wiped clean and this was my version of me that was going out into the world.”
Three decades on, Wilkinson’s career has traversed the Australian media landscape,
culminating in her highly successful partnership with Karl Stefanovic as co-hosts of the Nine
Network’s popular TODAY show.
Wilkinson tells Malley about her extraordinary journey, including her appointment as Dolly
magazine’s editor at just twenty-one years old.
“The magazine circulation was sort of waning a bit and I just said, ‘guys you’ve got to
understand Bay City Rollers aren’t hot anymore. We’ve got to do a giant tear out poster of
At 25, Wilkinson was headhunted by Kerry Packer to edit ACP’s Cleo magazine, a role she
held for 10 years. Later she became Cleo’s International Editor-in-Chief, running editions in
New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Today, Wilkinson is often celebrated as being a role model for young women. She was the
second woman to deliver the annual Andrew Ollie lecture in 2013, addressing the
challenges faced in the media by women.
“The thing I’m most proud of in my career is teaching young journalists the ropes and then
just watching them fly. There is no greater joy.”
Lisa Wilkinson shares her insights with Alex Malley on The Bottom Line – airing on
Saturday 3 May at 4pm on Channel Nine.
– ENDS –
Lisa Wilkinson in The Bottom Line is Episode 12 in a 24 episode series.
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