Berejiklian was born and raised in Sydney by Armenian immigrant parents. She often refers to the fact that she only began speaking English at the age of five.
Berejiklian undertook a Bachelor of Arts and a graduate diploma in international studies, and later a Masters in Commerce – she was the first member of her family to attend university. In her younger years, she was President of the New South Wales Young Liberals, being the third woman president in its history. Before entering politics, she worked at Commonwealth Bank.
Berejiklian was first elected to the NSW Parliament as the Member for Willoughby 2003. During her time in Parliament, she has held a range of positions including Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Transport, Treasurer (among many other roles). In 2017, she became Premier of NSW.
Berejiklian belongs to the moderate faction of the NSW Liberal Party, and at a high level, reflects the socially progressive and fiscally conservative traits of that faction. The Premier is known for her “incredible discipline” and fastidious attention to detail, and has been rewarded throughout the pandemic with high approval ratings.
Last year, Berejiklian was involved in a controversy that related to evidence that she gave to an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry. Within the evidence she provided, it was disclosed that she had a “close personal relationship” with former Liberal Party politician Daryl Maguire between 2015-2020. Maguire resigned in 2018 after it was revealed in a separate ICAC inquiry that he sought payment over a property deal. This information then led to a “vote of no confidence” (a vote showing that a majority does not support the policy of a leader). Berejiklian survived that vote.
Now, the Premier faces the growing cluster in Greater Sydney.
The next state election is in March next year.