Jackie Kelly

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Jackie Kelly
Minister for Sport
In office
21 October 1998 – 26 November 2001
Prime MinisterJohn Howard
Preceded byAndrew Thomson
Succeeded byRod Kemp
Minister for Tourism
In office
21 October 1998 – 26 November 2001
Prime MinisterJohn Howard
Preceded byAndrew Thomson
Succeeded byJoe Hockey
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Lindsay
In office
2 March 1996 – 17 October 2007
Preceded byRoss Free
Succeeded byDavid Bradbury
Personal details
Born (1964-02-18) 18 February 1964 (age 56)
Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia (1996–2014)
Independent (2014–)
Spouse(s)Gary Clark
OccupationLegal officer

Jacqueline Marie Kelly (born 18 February 1964), former Australian politician, was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1996 until November 2007, representing the Division of Lindsay, New South Wales.

Early career[edit]

Kelly was born in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, and attended the Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College, in North Sydney. She obtained a law degree from the University of Queensland, where she also attained a 'full blue' for rowing, and later represented Australia in the sport.[1]

In 1987, she commenced work with the Corrective Services Department of Queensland and worked as a probation and parole officer. In May 1989, she was admitted to practice as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland. From 1989 to 1996, she was a legal officer (Squadron Leader) with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and in June 1995, she was awarded the Helsham prize for her services to the RAAF Legal Department.

Political career[edit]

Federal politics[edit]

At the 1996 federal election, Kelly was elected to the Australian parliament for the seat of Lindsay, based around the suburb of Penrith, on the western fringe of Sydney. However, her election was invalidated because her employment by the RAAF contravened Section 44 (iv) of the Australian Constitution, which disqualifies from election those who hold an office of profit under the Crown. As well, she still held New Zealand citizenship, in contravention of Section 44 (i).[2]

After resigning from the RAAF and renouncing her New Zealand citizenship, she was re-elected at the 1996 Lindsay by-election with an increased majority.[3] At the 1998 federal election, which was largely a referendum on the proposal by Liberal-National Coalition government for a goods and services tax, she was re-elected with a slim majority, but she increased her majority at the 2001 federal election and maintained that margin at the 2004 election.

Kelly was the Minister for Sport and Tourism from October 1998 to November 2001, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games from October 1998 to January 2001, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from November 2001 to October 2004.[4]

In 1999, Kelly hosted the International Drugs in Sport Summit, which dealt with the doping problem ahead of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.[5] Although the first sitting Australian federal parliamentarian to give birth to a child was Ros Kelly in 1983, in 2000 Kelly became the first serving Australian federal minister to give birth to a child (a daughter named Dominique).

In 2001, Kelly was attacked by the Transport Workers Union for describing the collapse of Ansett Airlines as being "about getting over a little blip and getting back into the very, very bright future that is ahead for tourism".[6] When she was the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister (for the Office of the Status of Women), Kelly was instrumental in the development and implementation of the 'Baby Bonus' scheme, introduced in 2002.

In 2006, she was paired with Pavel Aubrecht when she competed on Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Ice and was eliminated third.[citation needed]

In May 2007, Kelly announced her intention to retire from federal politics at the election to be held later that year.[7]

Pamphlet scandal[edit]

On 21 November 2007, three days before the federal election, an anonymous member of the Liberal Party contacted the assistant secretary of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), Luke Foley, with information that Liberal Party members would be distributing a flyer to letterboxes throughout the suburb of St Marys, linking the ALP with a fictional Islamic organisation. (Due to a redistribution of electoral boundaries, St Marys had been moved from the safe Labor seat of Chifley into Kelly's seat of Lindsay.) Kelly's husband Gary Clark and four other people were caught about to letter-box the pamphlets, which thanked the ALP for supporting Muslim terrorists. Two Liberal Party members (including Jeff Egan, and the husband of the Liberal candidate for Lindsay Greg Chijoff) were forced to resign from the party.[8] Having already retired, Kelly categorically denied any knowledge of the pamphlets prior to their distribution, stating "My view is that it is a bit of a Chaser-style prank," when confronted unsuspecting at her children's school drop-off the following morning.[9] referring to when The Chaser had done a stunt in Mosman that involved claiming a mosque was to be built in the neighbourhood and asking for comments from people on the street.

State politics[edit]

In February 2014, Kelly unsuccessfully contested the Liberal pre-selection for the seat of Penrith in the NSW parliament, held by Liberal Stuart Ayres.[10] In October 2014, she resigned her Liberal Party membership, stating: "There's no local voice in the Liberal Party, there's no reason to be a member because the lobbyists are running the party", and also blaming the performance of the party's State Executive.[11]

Kelly then contested Penrith at the 2015 New South Wales state election as an independent but was unsuccessful against Liberal incumbent Ayres. She did, however, direct preferences to the ALP. That contributed to a significant swing away from Ayres on a two-party preferred basis.


Sporting achievements[edit]

Kelly was part of Australia's elite rowing program. She was in line for selection for the Australian rowing team to the Seoul Olympics in 1988, but Rowing Australia opted not to send a women's team. In 1986, Kelly represented Australia in the under 23s rowing, in scull and double scull, as well as the Nationals[12]. She competed in the 1994 World Masters rowing in Brisbane, winning 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals, the 1997 Australian Masters Rowing Championships in Canberra, winning 1 gold and 1 bronze, and the 1997 World Masters Rowing Championships in Adelaide, winning 2 gold.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly married Gary Clark, a local orthodontist, on 5 December 1998. They have two children, Dominique and Lachlan.[14]


  1. ^ "Kelly, Jackie". The Australian Women's Register. 14 November 2001. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra. "Section 44 of the Constitution". www.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  3. ^ "About Jackie". Jackie Kelly MP – Member for Lindsay. 2003. Archived from the original on 9 September 2003. Retrieved 1 September 2006.
  4. ^ corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra. "The Hon Jackie Kelly MP". www.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  5. ^ corporateName=International Drugs in Sport Summitd(1999 :cSydney, N. S. W. ); corporateName=Australia. bDept. of Industry, Science and Resources (30 November 2000). "International Inter-governmental Consultative Group Against Doping in Sport (IICGADS)". pandora.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Tourism Minister under attack over Ansett crisis". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
  7. ^ "Kelly to quit at next election". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Fake flyer distributors apologise". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  9. ^ Davies, Shaun (22 November 2007). "Libs' fake Muslim letter roundly condemned". National Nine News. ninemsn Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 23 November 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  10. ^ Nicholls, Sean (8 February 2014). "Stuart Ayres' seat of Penrith wanted by former MP Jackie Kelly,". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  11. ^ Bourke, Latika (16 October 2014). "Former Howard government minister Jackie Kelly quits the Liberal Party". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  12. ^ "1986 Women's National Championships, Australian Rowing History". www.rowinghistory-aus.info. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Kelly, Jackie (1964-) - People and organisations". Trove. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  14. ^ Anderson, Jayne (28 August 2015). "Jackie Kelly's struggle to balance motherhood and work as a Howard government minister". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 12 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Warwick Smith
Minister for Sport and Tourism
Succeeded by
Rod Kemp
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ross Free
Member for Lindsay
Succeeded by
David Bradbury