LUNCH WITH GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN
Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:26 AM
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
October 27, 2012 Saturday
Signals from a careful commuter;
LUNCH WITH GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN
by Philip Clark
There will be no announcements until this Minister has done the track
work, writes Philip Clark.
She's got the toughest job in the government and she's famously shy
about her private life. For some she's going to be the next premier,
for others she's the politician with the unpronounceable surname, but
for a woman who ought to have the weight of the world on her shoulders
Gladys Berejiklian is travelling light.
"I am very customer-focused," she smiles when asked how the job of
fixing Sydney's transport woes is going.
"If I get presented with a proposal the first thing I ask is: how does
it help the customer?"
So far the customers appear to be giving her the benefit of the doubt.
But for how long? A year and a half into her ministry, Gladys
Berejiklian, member for Willoughby, NSW Minister for Transport, knows
public patience can't last.
But if she is feeling anxious she isn't showing it.
We talk over a Friday lunch at the New Shanghai restaurant, downstairs
in Chatswood Chase. It's in the middle of her electorate and she knows
people everywhere. There is even a baby to admire. The place is as
busy as ... well a Chinese restaurant in Chatswood and Berejiklian
wastes little time on the menu. "I'm starving!" she exclaims and
immediately suggests the Rainbow Beef as a specialty of the house. We
settle for that with stir-fried green beans and some salty prawns and
dumplings. I suggest the eel. She's not keen but I go ahead anyway and
end up being the only person who has a go at it.
We sit close together on stools at a small table that is soon crowded
with dishes and chopsticks and her preferred tipple of green tea. As
we talk I notice her acknowledge people with a discreet wave of the
hand or a smile. Such is the political life.
Up close, Gladys Berejiklian is friendly and warm and knows her
ground. She is polite and makes time. She is interested and asks
questions, despite glancing at her BlackBerry to remind her she has
six meetings in a row after our lunch. It's a punishing work schedule
that begins early and finishes late. It can make a mess of your health
but she looks well and says she gets to the gym.
I don't comment on her clothes but do notice a silver necklace with a
name I can't read. I politely inquire; "It's my name in Armenian," she
replies with a laugh. "I had a bet in the office that you would never
bother asking about it!" I feel suitably chastened.
Berejiklian is well aware that success in the transport portfolio is
one of the key measuring sticks by which Barry O'Farrell's government
will be judged.
But what does success mean?
Well for a start she won't be rushed. "I understand that people want
me to announce things but that was what Labor did. Announce things all
the time and never do anything. I won't do that."
In Victoria, Barry O'Farrell's Liberal counterpart, Ted Baillieu, has
earned the sobriquet "Timid Ted" for his hesitancy on the path to
reform. Critics level the same charge against O'Farrell. He's too
cautious; he won't get on with things.
As Nick Greiner once exasperatedly said to me about O'Farrell, "Look,
Barry is Barry."
Berejiklian bristles at the idea that O'Farrell might go down in
history as a do-nothing Premier. "Barry will be remembered very well,"
she says firmly. "He is doing a lot behind the scenes and making the
decisions that set the solid foundations for the future."
After 16 years in opposition and with a landslide on his lap it was
O'Farrell who last year famously brushed aside an interview request
from the ABC's election-night host, Kerry O'Brien, with the words,
"I'm only going to talk to Gladys."
So if the proverbial political bus rumbles along doesn't she have the
inside running over the Treasurer, Mike Baird, for succession? She has
seen this coming and her political discipline kicks in. She doesn't
smile and I get the message.
"Barry is my boss. I don't agree that I have a more favoured
relationship with him than others. He has good relations with all the
What about leading the party one day?
"I don't have time to take my eye off the job I have," she says. "I
don't want to speculate about the future leadership. I am
concentrating on getting the best job done that I can."
For a person who's been in politics for so long she is strangely
reticent about her private self and is especially reserved about the
issue of gender in politics.
I ask around these issues until she says, "look I've asked you twice,
so please ..."
But I can't resist. After all it's been the week from hell for
misogynists. Julia Gillard has given them a pasting in Parliament and
all over the world her speech has been tweeted, bookmarked and
applauded. So what did Gladys think?
"I haven't watched it."
Really? I look at her but she is quite resolved. It seems hard to believe.
I get a sense of how determined she can be.
"I am not comfortable talking about politics through gender. I have
always felt that the best thing you could do as a woman was to do the
best job possible."
Yes, but surely she has experienced what many talented women feel, the
everyday, commonplace condescension that accompanies the successful
"As far as the Liberal Party is concerned I have never experienced any
discrimination," she replies with a smile.
The daughter of Armenian migrants who fled from Syria and Jerusalem in
the wake of the Armenian genocide and arrived separately in the late
1960s, Gladys grew up in the midst of the biggest Armenian community
in Sydney, centred on Willoughby. The eldest of three sisters, she
studied hard and stayed at home until she was 30. She worked her way
up in the Commonwealth Bank, was interested in politics from an early
age and had Peter Collins as an early mentor. She is a close friend of
the federal Liberal MP Joe Hockey. There's an Armenian connection
She speaks her parents' language and has a strong sense of her
heritage. She worries as they have relatives in Aleppo and Syria now
is a dangerous place.
Berejiklian is single and elsewhere she has said that perhaps she will
meet the right man some day. I don't ask her about it. It's a tough
enough question for anyone in her position and politics doesn't give
you any privilege on the answer.
Right now she is struggling with trying to prioritise Sydney's
transport options. There seem to be so many projects and where is the
capital coming from to fund any of them?
I suggest to her that from the outside it looks as though O'Farrell is
hedging his bets on transport and setting up two competing streams of
advice. First there is her Transport Ministry and then there is
Infrastructure NSW, set up in the middle of last year under the
leadership of Greiner, which has just produced a major report to the
government recommending the WestConnex roads project as its priority.
The Premier says he will go ahead with the WestConnex proposal. But
Infrastructure NSW has plenty to say on buses and light and heavy
rail, too. So where does that leave Gladys?
She insists there is no conflict. That Infrastructure NSW was always
going to be used as a vehicle for identifying the key road project and
that's what it has done.
So how does she want to be remembered after the first term?
"I want the Opal card rolled out across trains, buses and ferries so
it is available for most customers.
"I want to finish the Inner West Light Rail extension, I want the
South West Rail Link well under way and construction happening on the
North West Rail Link."
I ask about how it can possibly take so long for an integrated
ticketing system such as the Opal card to be introduced when other
cities have their Oyster (London) and Octopus (Hong Hong)? She sighs
and I gather has asked the same question.
She says she has been on the front foot with the bureaucracy. "The
first decision I made as minister was to cut the number of agencies,
from 10 to four. I'd been planning what I wanted to do so it was very
early when I did that.
"It's taken a while to get the bureaucracy right - now though they
know that every proposal that comes to me needs to show the benefit to
She is "absolutely committed to the North West rail project", agrees
that light rail can "move more people and is definitely better in some
places", but adds that "a quality public transport network is one
where modes are integrated and you have the right mode in the right
She's no ideologue, "There's no one answer to Sydney's transport
issues. We will need everything - heavy and light rail, buses,
ferries, cars, active transport and most importantly integration
between all of these."
Life and times
1970 Born in Sydney.
1991 Joined the Liberal Party.
1996 Becomes only the third female president of the Young Liberals in NSW.
2003 elected as the member for Willoughby in the NSW Parliament,
succeeding Peter Collins.
2005 Joins the opposition front bench.
2006 Becomes opposition spokeswoman for transport.
2011 Appointed Transport Minister.
- MosJan likes this
Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:57 AM
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
April 18, 2014 Friday
Praise for efforts as transport minister
by Geoff Chambers
GLADYS Berejiklian is described by her supporters as "the story of
Australia". The 43-year-old, of Armenian descent, is the daughter of a
boilermaker and nurse from Ryde.
Hornsby MP Matt Kean - who backed her in the leadership ballot -
described Ms Berejiklian as the party's "peacemaker".
"Her story is the story of Australia - migrant family came out here
with nothing, dad was a welder, mum was a nurse. If ever you wanted to
smash the public perception of the Liberal Party - Gladys is it," Mr
Kean said. "She barely spoke a word of English when she went to
school. She left school with top marks, became a senior executive at
the Commonwealth Bank, president of the Young Liberals, and now one of
the state's best-ever transport ministers." Former state transport
minister and Premier Mike Baird's father Bruce also described Ms
Berejiklian - a close friend of federal Treasurer Joe Hockey - as the
state's best minister when it came to his old role.
The Baird government is expected to use transport and infrastructure
projects as its bedrock at next year's election."When I look at what
she's achieved in terms of a whole series of measures - northwest rail
line, southwest rail link, on time running, cleanliness of trains,
privatisation of the ferries, the Opal card, the overhaul of state
rail - these are quite significant reforms," Mr Baird Sr said. The
Willoughby MP will remain committed to those reforms, keeping the
Transport Minister role despite her elevation.
Posted 02 April 2015 - 08:39 AM
AUSTRALIAN-ARMENIAN GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN APPOINTED TREASURER OF NEW SOUTH WALES
April 1, 2015
Australian-Armenian Gladys Berejiklian has become the first woman
treasurer of New South Wales. The state budget of New South Wales
($70 billion Australian Dollars) will be under her supervision.
The Armenian National Committee of Australia congratulated Gladys
Berejiklian on it's Facebook page.
Born in 1970 in Sydney, Australian-Armenian political figure Gladys
Berejiklian used to be the Minister for Transport of New South Wales.
She is the vice-chairwoman of the Liberal Party of New South Wales.
New South Wales' capital city is Sydney, which is also the Australia's
most populous city. In March 2014, the estimated population of New
South Wales was 7.5 million, making it Australia's most populous
state in Australia.
Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:39 AM
Treasurer of Australian New South Wales (NSW) state, Armenian Gladys Berejiklian, has decided to stand as candidate for the post of premier in the country’s largest state.
Earlier, the previous Premier of NSW, Mike Baird, informed that he would resign starting from next week due to the health problems of his family members.
In connection with this, the Armenian candidate wrote on her Facebook page that she was saddened by Baird’s decision.
“I am deeply saddened that Mike Baird has announced his decision to retire from politics. Mike has been an inspiring leader and a man of enormous integrity who has left an outstanding and indelible mark on the state of NSW,” she noted.
Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:46 AM
AAP Newsfeed, Australia
January 19, 2017 Thursday 4:05 PM AEST
NSW:Berejiklian to put hand up for NSW premier
SYDNEY Jan 19
Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian has thrown her hat in the ring for the state's top job following NSW Premier Mike Baird's shock resignation.
In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Ms Berejiklian said she was saddened by Mr Baird's decision to leave politics and that he was "inspiring leader" and a "man of enormous integrity".
She also said Mr Baird was a friend and his leadership had made "NSW the economic and infrastructure powerhouse of the nation."
"His compassion has also ensured a better quality of life for those most vulnerable," she said.
"Today is Mike's day - but I would like to make it clear that I will be standing for the leadership."
The current deputy leader was reportedly seen having coffee with Mr Baird just hours before he dramatically announced he was quitting politics via social media on Thursday morning.
It's unclear if the treasurer will face any challengers, but it's believed Transport Minister Andrew Constance was sounding out support for a tilt.
Another possible contender, Planning Minister Rob Stokes, is currently overseas.
Ms Berejiklian would become NSW's second female premier if elected. The Labor Party's Kristina Keneally served in the top job from 2009 to 2011.
Elected to Sydney's lower north shore seat of Willoughby in 2003, Ms Berejiklian is an experienced politician who has overseen massive surpluses and a strong budget performance as state treasurer.
The former transport minister has remained largely scandal-free during her career, and it's likely her personal background as the daughter of working-class Armenian migrants who attended a public school would rate highly with voters.
Mr Baird would not nominate a successor following his announcement on Thursday but said he would vote in the ballot.
The state's Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro said he believed Ms Berejiklian would make a fantastic premier.
"I think the question will be, 'can the media pronounce Berejiklian - Barilaro government?'," he joked with reporters in Sydney.
"But she is a fantastic leader and there are others in the Liberal Party that are touted that could be committed to leadership and I will committed to working with whoever the leader may be," he said.
Posted 21 January 2017 - 12:19 PM
Gladys Berejiklian all but certain to be next NSW premier after rivals drop out
New South Wales treasurer shrugs off Alan Jones’s attack and confirms she will run for top post with Dominic Perrottet as deputy
Gladys Berejiklian walks past locals before attending a news conference near her electorate office in Naremburn, Sydney on Friday. Photograph: David Moir/AAP
Friday 20 January 2017 00.20 GMT
The New South Wales treasurer, Gladys Berejiklian, is all but certain to be the state’s next premier after her last likely rival for the job, Andrew Constance, declared he would not stand for the job.
Constance released a statement on Friday, saying Berejiklian had his full support.
“Gladys will make an excellent premier,” Constance said. “NSW should be glad to have her at the helm.
“Having spoken to my family and colleagues it is my intention to continue to serve NSW in whatever way is possible.”
Berejiklian confirmed she had spoken to Constance after Mike Baird’s surprise retirement announcement on Thursday but had declined to say whether he would stand in Monday’s spill.
“I am not assuming anything ahead of Monday morning’s meeting and, in fact, if colleagues feel they want to put their hands up – no hard feelings, it’s a democracy,” she said.
Analysis Baird's resignation: where does Magic Mike's early night leave New South Wales voters?
The outgoing premier made big moves in infrastructure and council amalgamations but didn’t stay to see the results
“And I’ve made that clear to anybody, that there’s absolutely no hard feelings if people put up their hand and want to run for the leadership on Monday – competition is healthy and if people feel they want to make that contribution, they should feel free to do that.”
Robert Stokes, believed to be Berejiklian’s most serious challenger, ruled himself out of the race on Friday morning. Stokes, a factional ally of Berejiklian and a close friend of Baird, was in London when the premier made his announcement.
Earlier on Friday Berejiklian shrugged off an attack from the Sydney shock jock Alan Jones while confirming she would run for premier with the finance minister, Dominic Perrottet, as her deputy.
The incoming premier will also need to deal with an added challenge thrown up by the Nationals on Friday, after the party’s leader, John Barilaro, vowed to stop controversial local government mergers in the bush, saying the Nationals would “no longer be taken for granted”.
“The policy of local government amalgamations has impacted 20 councils, 12 of which are in regional NSW, causing uncertainty and anger, and others are locked in costly legal action – that all stops today,” Barilaro said.
Jones launched a scathing attack on Berejiklian on Friday morning, saying she lacked the ability to be premier and was a bad choice. Jones, who called into 2GB radio while on holidays, said Berejiklian appeared to have been installed through factional manoeuvring and without proper process.
He described her positioning as the next NSW premier as a “stitch-up”.
The stories you need to read, in one handy email
Berejiklian was asked whether it would be difficult to govern without Jones’ support.
“Look, I believe it’s hard for everybody putting up their hands for leadership in this state and nation, and it would be miraculous if everybody supported the same person. That is not what democracy is about,” she said.
“I take all of that in my stride. I have been involved in senior levels of government for a considerable period of time and six years – in the limelight for six years – has exposed me to a glimpse of what could be ahead of me if I’m successful on Monday.”
Berejiklian is in the centre of the NSW Liberal party, a faction that is closely linked with powerbroker Michael Photios. She said she had not spoken with Photios on Thursday, the day she announced her intention to stand.
“The people who will decide who the next premier of New South Wales is are my parliamentary colleagues and I respect the process and I appreciate the public will have a say on who the next premier should be in two years’ time,” she said.
Barilaro, the NSW national leader, on Friday pledged to end the merger of local councils in NSW’s regions, a policy that had been particularly damaging for the Baird government in rural seats.
Barilaro pledged to make the issue his highest priority in the coming discussions, and said the Nationals would “not be taken for granted” in cabinet discussions.
“There are no promises of portfolios – I made no deals when taking over as leader of the NSW Nationals and I won’t start now,” he said. “Everything is on the table – there are portfolios which I will be seeking as leader of the NSW Nationals and no doubt there are portfolios which the incoming Premier will be seeking.
“The NSW Nationals and regional NSW won’t be taken for granted in any future negotiations.”
New South Wales premier Mike Baird announces retirement
It is unclear what that would mean for councils that have already been merged, or for those which are still fighting the amalgamations in court.
The opposition leader, Luke Foley, described Barilaro’s statement as a “search for relevance”.
“Will he do the right thing and unwind the forced mergers that have already been implemented in regional NSW, will there be one policy for the regions, one policy for the suburbs of Sydney?” he said.
“What about the central coast? What about the Hunter? What about the Newcastle/Port Stephens merger? What about the Wollongong/Shellharbour merger?
“I think there’s clearly a desire by the new Nationals leader to show they’re still relevant. Clearly they’ve been cut out of the conversation in the last 24 hours.”
Foley attacked Berejiklian for failing to answer questions about her vision for NSW during a press conference on Friday morning.
Berejiklian was asked about her priorities for NSW, and what kind of permier she would be, but said she wanted to wait until after Monday’s spill before making such comments.
She later said she was a hard worker, understood what it meant to face challenges and outlined the Baird government’s achievements.
“She can’t tell us what she stands for or wants to do, it’s extraordinary,” Foley said. “Everyone who’s put their hand up to lead the Labor or Liberal parties at state or federal level in this country for donkey’s years ... makes it clear what their core beliefs and values are, what their top priorities are.”
Posted 23 January 2017 - 10:50 AM
Radio AustraliaJan 23 2017Gladys Berejiklian is Premier of New South Wales, replacing Mike BairdUpdated 23 January 2017, 14:55 AEDTBy Clare Blumer and staff
Gladys Berejiklian outlines her priorities and praises her Armenian migrant parents, saying she "will be governing for everyone", as she gives her first speech after being voted as the new leader in NSW.Ms Berejiklian gave her first press conference as Premier-elect after the vote. (Credit: ABC)
Gladys Berejiklian has outlined her priorities and praised her Armenian migrant parents, saying she "will be governing for everyone", during her first speech after being voted in as the new leader in New South Wales.
The 46-year-old was sworn in as 45th Premier of NSW this afternoon after being elected unopposed as Liberal leader in an early morning partyroom meeting this morning, replacing Mike Baird.
The meeting lasted 10 minutes and also saw Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet voted in as deputy party leader.
In her first press conference as leader, Ms Berejiklian praised her parliamentary colleagues for putting their trust in her.
"I thank them for determining, based on my performance, that I am best for the job and I am so excited that the party has come together united in support of my Premiership," she said.
The Premier spoke movingly of her upbringing.
"I haven't talked about this much previously but my father was a boilermaker, a welder, and one of the first jobs he did in Sydney was working on the Sydney Opera House, which is a great sense of pride for my family," she said.
"My mum left school at 15 to support her family and became a nurse.
"There wasn't a week that went by when my parents didn't remind us of how lucky we were to have the opportunities we have here in New South Wales."
Ms Berejiklian said she would be governing "for everyone" in NSW.
She said her policy priorities as Premier would be:
- local infrastructure;
- housing affordability;
- and building a strong economy, with an emphasis on more jobs.
When a reporter asked whether she would be able to answer private questions, such as former prime minister Julia Gillard, about her single status, she laughed.
"I have been in public life for a long time. I have been a senior minister for six years. I am ready for anything," Ms Berejiklian said.
Ms Berejiklian has been the member for the Sydney north shore electorate of Willoughby since 2003.
Mr Baird resigned as Premier on Thursday, citing the ongoing illnesses of close members of his family as the cause for his early exit from the leadership role.
Armenian community welcomes Berejiklian's rise
The Premier spoke about her upbringing on 2GB just after her successful partyroom meeting.
"I want everyone in NSW to feel that they can do what I've done, that there's no challenge too big and that our state has those opportunities," she told the Sydney radio station.
"I was actually born in Sydney but my parents were newly arrived immigrants, so we spoke Armenian at home, and when I started school I couldn't speak a word of English.
"I remember my mother saying to me: 'Glad, even if you're not quite sure what the teacher's asking you, put your hand up and have a go'… I just remember that like nothing else and that's kind of kept me going for all my life."
Vache Kahramanian from the Sydney-based Armenian National committee of Australia said it is a wonderful day for all the community.
"Gladys Berejiklian, [who] is the daughter of migrants who came to Australia with limited English and survivors of the Armenian genocide, today has reached the highest office in our state of NSW and this is a monumental and proud achievement for our community and also a proud day for NSW as well."Polls could be challenging for Berejiklian
The state Liberal Party powerbrokers will be watching the first polls under the new leadership closely, with the party's popularity declining at the end of last year.
Mr Baird suffered a record fall in satisfaction ratings as issues such as the failed greyhound ban and forced council amalgamations left the party's popularity reeling.
The September Newspoll saw his net approval rating fall from 39 points in December 2015 to minus seven points, the biggest fall of any mainland state premier in the history of Newspoll.
The Coalition's primary vote slumped six points to 42 per cent, while Labor's rose three points to 36 per cent.
Despite Mr Baird's fall in popularity, he still led State Opposition Leader Luke Foley as preferred premier by a margin of 42 to 24 per cent.
- MosJan likes this
Posted 24 January 2017 - 11:35 AM
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
January 22, 2017 Sunday
RISE OF A NEW IRON LADY
by LINDA SILMALIS CHIEF REPORTER, EXCLUSIVE
HER reputation is for niceness, efficiency and steel in equal measure,
but Gladys Berejiklian's adversaries are already queuing up to hint
the premier-in-waiting is beholden to backroom players.
As Ms Berejiklian prepares to ask tomorrow's Liberal party room
meeting for endorsement as leader, a whispering campaign is
highlighting her close -relationship with Left powerbroker Michael
"She is his prized jewel," one right-wing Liberal said.
"He has finally obtained the premiership." Where Premier Mike Baird
and his predecessor Barry O'Farrell enjoyed being free of the
factions, some MPs fear a return to the John Brogden era when warring
factions nearly tore the party apart.
Members of the once- dominant Right have released a list of
ministerial demands in exchange for their support, with one senior
figure warning: "If the Right are going to back her, the Right need to
Some are concerned their new leader Ms Berejiklian now has a target on
her back, given her own involvement as a factional player.
"She was Brogden's lieutenant, doing all the numbers for him," a
long-serving Liberal MP said.
"Now that she is the leader of the Left in parliament, Matt Kean (MP
for Hornsby) has been fulfilling this role for her, so he's another
one she will now have to reward." Labor were quick to point out
favours Ms Berejiklian may be pressured to deliver given Mr Photios's
long list of clients as part of his Capital Hill Advisory business.
Three years ago, Ms Berejiklian was accused of handing out bus
contracts to clients of Mr Photios' other business, Premier State.
However, Mr Photios said he did not represent the companies, with the
business -engaged only to help the firms draw up their tenders.
There was also a party on the Cook Islands where Ms Berejiklian was
pictured with another controversial lobbyist Joe Tannous.
Long-serving cabinet colleague Brad Hazzard said Ms Berejiklian was a
"quintessentially nice person" with "an iron will".
"I heard she doesn't say much in cabinet," offers a-nother MP.
"Pedantic. Perfectionist to the extreme," says another.
"Nobody knows anything about her," said another Liberal source. If
there is a common theme, it is the Australian--Armenian former
Commonwealth Bank executive has always wanted the top job.
One Liberal Party veteran claimed she cited ambitions of becoming
prime minister as a Young Liberal.
"Even Baird was reluctant to run the last time around as it was
understood it was Gladys' (role to become the next premier)", a
Liberal source said.
"It is why he locked her in this time around." The friendship with Mr
Photios was forged through the Eastwood branch of the Young Liberals,
where both were presidents.
She was on the guest list of federal MP Craig Laundy's Christmas
drinks on the family yacht, which also allegedly included Malcolm and
Lucy Turnbull, Mr Photios and MP John Sidoti.
She is regularly on the guest list of functions held by the Turnbulls,
although was overheard telling a fellow ministerial colleague at
Christmas that she had turned them down this year.
She is also close to Treasurer Scott Morrison.
As for her single status, her supporters say it will be of -advantage,
not having to take into consideration the needs of immediate family.
"(Ms Berejiklian) can be married to the job," a supporter conceded.
However, she has her work cut out, not least of all mending relations
with Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Transport Minister Andrew
Constance amid allegations she colluded with Mr Baird in the timing of
Mr Baird's public support of Ms Berejiklian as premier came despite a
pledge "not to back a candidate" should he decide to retire, said the
The pledge was made weeks leading into Thursday's Twitter resignation,
with would-be leadership contender Mr Stokes taking off to London for
a family holiday in the confidence nothing would happen in his
It was only in the late afternoon that Mr Stokes learned of the
vacancy, giving the Left several hours jump to secure Ms Berejiklian's
Mr Stokes will miss the party room meeting, only -returning to
Australia at the end of the month.
Radio talk-show host Alan Jones has already taken aim, -accusing Ms
Berejiklian of lacking the ability to be premier while backing the
notion she had the inside running.
Mr Baird said he would be "proud" to have Ms -Berejiklian as premier.
"The whole thing comes down to character - she is an outstanding
person," he said.
"She has a lot of inner strength, is compassionate, pragmatic and her
attitude makes her perfect for the job," Mr Baird said.
"She has spent her life fighting against stereotypes, and she's proven
her critics wrong. Should she get elected, I'd be very proud to have
her as my premier." After waiting for the job for so long, Ms
Berejiklian will rise to the challenge, her supporters say.
Unlike other female political leaders who are installed in desperation
when parties are already in a death spiral, Ms Berejiklian walks into
positive polls and a healthy economy.."This is the role she has been
waiting for, and I think she has a chance to make a major mark," a
Posted 27 January 2017 - 12:22 PM
Northern District Times (Australia)
January 25, 2017 Wednesday
The protesting teen who became premier
by Steven Deare
WHEN a 15-year-old girl from Ryde took on the government over the
closure of her high school, it began a foray into politics that would
eventually hit the lofty heights of NSW premier.
Gladys Berejiklian was that eager teenager, whose interest in politics
and activism started in the area she grew up during the '70s, '80s and
One of three daughters of Armenian migrants, Ms Berejiklian and her
family settled in North Ryde in 1973 when she was three.
Her father Krikor and mother Arsha still live there.
Ms Berejiklian barely spoke English when she started at North Ryde
Primary School, but learnt quickly.
The young student did well and later, at North Ryde High School on
Smalls Rd, began to take interest in wider issues.
"The first issue I really became involved with in a meaningful way was
in 1985 when I was 15," she told NewsLocal in an earlier interview.
"The Wran Government was threatening to close down our high school and
I led the student protest to keep it open." The teenager staged a
sit-in demonstration in the principal's office. However, the school
was closed and students - including Ms Berejiklian - moved to Peter
Board High School.
A high achiever in the classroom, she became school captain too. Ms
Berejiklian was also heavily involved with Armenian community
activities, girl guides and, later, the Young Liberals.
She became president of the Young Liberals' Epping-Eastwood branch,
then the NSW branch's president.
Ryde councillor Sarkis Yedelian, who, at 54, is eight years older than
Ms Berejiklian, met her in the 1980s through the Armenian community
soon after he arrived in Australia.
"She was cut out to be a leader. She was leadership material. We knew
that from the beginning," he said.
He was impressed that she became president of the local Young Liberals
branch, which, he said, had been male-dominated.
Ms Berejiklian lived in the family home until she was 29, when she
moved to Willoughby.
She was working with Willoughby state MP Peter Collins until 2002 when
he decided to stand down.
Ms Berejiklian took over the seat at the 2003 election.When the
Liberals won the 2011 election, she was appointed transport minister
and in 2015 treasurer and industrial relations minister.
Posted 27 January 2017 - 12:27 PM
Gladys Berejiklian, Prime Minister of New South Wells, Australia, is declared persona non grata in Azerbaijan. Aravot.am was informed from the list published on the website of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of foreign affairs.
According to the list, Gladys Berejiklian “paid an illegal visit to” Nagorno Kharabakh in July 2013.
At the moment, there are 324 citizens of different republics on that list. Among them are politicians, journalists, artists. The main reason to be declared as persona non grata is the visit to Nagorno Karabakh.
- MosJan likes this
Posted 31 January 2017 - 04:42 PM
January 30, 2017Gladys Berejiklian, the Great War, Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide
By Viken Babkenian
Gladys Berejiklian’s grandparents were among those liberated when the Allies defeated the Ottoman forces in 1918, narrowly escaping the Armenian Genocide, writes historian Vicken Babkenian.
In her inauguration speech on 26 August 1925,Millicent Preston Stanley, the first female member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the NSW Parliament and representing theNationalist Party – one of the predecessors of the Liberal Party stated:
"… it may be shown that [a] woman can take her place amongst the representatives of the people in the Parliament of the country and play her part in the political life of the nation."
A portrait of Stanley hangs on the wall of the NSW Parliament House as a reminder of women’s success in politics since NSW legislation allowed them to stand for parliament in 1918.
Fast forward almost a century to Monday 23 January 2017 and NSW has its first female premier from the conservative side of politics — Gladys Berejiklian.
But there’s another link which binds these two women together that harks back to the time of the Great War. Gladys is the granddaughter of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, an event which shares the same timing and geographic setting of Australia’s Gallipoli experience. It’s a story historian ProfessorPeter Stanley and I tell for the first time in our book Armenia, Australia and the Great War.
Just hours before the first Australians leapt out of their boats onto the beach that became Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire embarked on a campaign to destroy the Empire’s native Christian Armenian population.
Australian troops serving on Gallipoli and in the Middle East became witnesses. On Gallipoli and in Palestine, Armenians worked with the Australians as interpreters. Australian prisoners of the Turks saw Armenians being abused and deported; one recorded in his diary that 1.25 million people had died, a figure close to the accepted number. In Palestine, as the Light Horse advanced northwards towards the Turkish border, they came upon evidence of the atrocities, even rescuing Armenian refugees, survivors of massacre. In the remote reaches of northern Persia, Australians serving in "Dunsterforce" rescued thousands of Armenians.
News of the genocide sparked a humanitarian relief movement in Australia in 1915, that culminated in the establishment of an Australian-run orphanage in Lebanon for about 1,700 Armenian orphans. Prime Minister Billy Hughes allowed free freight to the Middle East aboard the Commonwealth Line of Steamers for goods donated to the Armenian Relief Fund.
Leading Australian feminists were at the forefront of this humanitarian relief effort, which included Millicent Preston Stanley. She had been "deeply concerned" about the tragic plight of the Armenian people and she advocated on their behalf.
"Surely we will not be deaf to the cry of 120,000 [Armenian] orphans."
As part of a large international humanitarian relief effort, Australians helped save the lives of tens of thousands of Armenian refugees across the Middle East, Europe and the Caucasus.
Gladys Berejiklian’s grandparents were among those liberated when the Allies defeated the Ottoman forces in 1918. Their offspring were part of the wave of Armenian migrants who came to Australia in the 1960s when our nation’s White Australia Policy began to fade and our doors were opened to Armenian migrants.
Their daughter, Gladys, born in Manly, has now taken the top job of the NSW State. Her success is a testament to the progress of Australian multiculturism and women’s equality that has helped provide the opportunity for Gladys to "play her part in the political life of the nation".
Vicken Babkenian is the co-author with Professor Peter Stanley of Armenia, Australia and the Great War (NewSouth Publishing, 2016). Shortlisted for the 2016 Queensland Literary Awardfor History and the NIB Australian Military History Prize.
Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:25 AM
Premier of Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Gladys Berejiklian hopes to visit Armenia next year, she said in an interview with Armenian News-NEWS.am. Gladys Berejiklian, Armenian by origin, told about her visit to Armenia and Karabakh as well as her Armenian heritage.
What is your main task as Prime Minister of New South Wales?
New South Wales is home to 7.8 million people and is the largest of Australia’s six states. About a third of Australia’s population live in NSW. NSW has the largest, fastest-growing and most-diversified economy in Australia. It has an economy larger than Ireland, Norway and Israel.
The role of the Premier is equivalent to that of a State Governor in the United States of America. The Premier is the leader of the Government, the most senior decision maker and most visible face of the State Government to the public. The Premier leads and coordinates the work of a Government Ministers across budgets, policy and new legislation.
You visited Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh together with the delegation of Australian politicians back in 2013. Could you please share you impressions of this visit?
In July 2013, as part of a Parliamentary delegation of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Armenia, I had the opportunity to visit Armenia in an official capacity. We visited Yerevan, Artsakh and other regions of Armenia. The trip embedded in both my colleagues and me, a deeper understanding of not only the Armenian way of life, but also the challenges and the significant strategic opportunities available to Armenia.
You have constantly raised the Armenian community concerns in the parliament, including recognition of the Armenian Genocide and Karabakh issue. Do you think Australia can ever recognize the Armenian Genocide?
As the granddaughter of survivors of the Armenian genocide, I am proud of my Armenian heritage and will continue to advocate for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the unanimous recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Parliament of New South Wales. We also have an Armenian Khachkar in our Parliamentary Garden to recognise the victims of the Armenian Genocide. I hope to visit Armenia next year as the Premier of NSW.
Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:05 PM
The Premier of Australia’s largest state of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian has been awarded the prestigious Mkhitar Gosh Medal by the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan as part of Independence Day honourees announced on September 21.
Berejiklian, the granddaughter of Armenian Genocide survivors, became the first Armenian-Australian Premier of a state in January 2017. She replaced retiring former Premier Mike Baird after having served as Treasurer of NSW under his leadership.
The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) have congratulated Premier Berejiklian on receiving the Presidential honour from Armenia, which she will collect in person in due course.
“We congratulate Premier Berejiklian on this well-deserved honour,” said ANC-AU Honorary Chairman, Greg Soghomonian. “The Premier has always been THE upstanding public representative of her Armenian constituents, as well as her greater constituencies, regardless of what role she has served in.”
Soghomonian added: “Premier Berejiklian has always promoted her roots; she has battled for justice for the Armenian Genocide and for the rights to self-determination of Armenians in Artsakh. She has visited Armenia, including as a leading member of a political delegation the Armenian National Committee of Australia hosted in 2013.”
The Mkhitar Gosh Medal is awarded for “outstanding state and social-political activities, as well as for significant services in the spheres of diplomacy, law and political science.”
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