Speakers Profile - Fran Kelly

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Respected radio presenter, current affairs journalist and political correspondent, Fran Kelly was host of the agenda-setting program RN Breakfast for 17 years stepping down from that role in December 2021.

Though Fran has become a feature of the ABC's coverage of local and world affairs on both radio and television, her career may well have taken a very different direction; after studying arts at Adelaide University, majoring in literature and classics, Fran became part of the Adelaide and Melbourne music scenes at the end of the 1970s.

She was the singer in the all-girl new wave band, Toxic Shock, and worked in the university sector booking bands and putting on events.

In 1984, Fran broadened her experience in arts management as the coordinator of the Statewide Women's Arts Festival for Victoria's 150th Anniversary celebrations.

But journalism was her calling and in 1988 she moved to Sydney to work on The Drum the Triple J youth current affairs programme.

In her years at the ABC Fran has worked at Triple J, ABC Sport, Current Affairs Radio and TV.

In 1993 her career pivoted to Federal politics and she spent the next decade as political editor for ABC Radio flagship programmes AM and PM and then Political Editor on the 7.30 Report.

In 2003 she moved to London as the ABC Europe correspondent, returning in 2005 to take up her role as Host of RN Breakfast.

She revelled in RN Breakfast's wide brief, which reignited her passion for the arts, sport and social change but which kept her firmly in the thick of Australian politics.

In 2016 she also launched her podcast career as co-host of the ABC weekly political podcast The Party Room.

2022 revealed a new chapter for one of Australia's most trusted journalists, hosting her own chat show "Frankly" on ABCTV with a lively mix of guests, a live band and a live audience.

Fran is still a regular in the corridors of the ABC's Sydney studios, and she is also a consummate MC, interviewer and facilitator and is frequently in demand for corporate events in the private, public and community sectors.