Gladys: A Leader's Undoing

Paul Farrell

Gladys: A Leader's Undoing
Monash University Publishing
12 September 2023

Gladys: A Leader’s Undoing

Paul Farrell

Gladys Berejiklian was one of Australia’s most popular premiers. Forging a path for New South Wales through the difficult early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, she seemed unstoppable. But it all came crashing down. In one of the most staggering falls from grace in Australian political history, Berejiklian found herself embroiled in a major corruption inquiry that had enveloped the man with whom she was in a secret relationship. That same inquiry slowly expanded to focus on the conduct of Berejiklian herself.

Journalist Paul Farrell takes us behind the scenes of the corruption investigation that brought down a NSW premier. He gives us a bird’s-eye account of how a case was built against her, and the relationship that ended her political reign. He also reveals how Berejiklian’s popularity was shored up by powerful allies in media and political circles, and the tactics deployed by her office to silence critics.

This book makes the case for why we need corruption-fighting bodies to look over the shoulders of politicians in Australia, especially at a time when trust in our political institutions is at the lowest level it has ever been. It also asks tough questions about the state of our democracy, and how Gladys Berejiklian maintained her remarkable popularity even as the corruption inquiry focused attention on her. At the centre of all this is the national importance of trust, honesty and integrity, and how much Australians are willing to tolerate when it comes to the behaviour of their leaders.

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