Leigh Peta Sales (born 10 May 1973) is an Australian author and journalist. She is the host of the Australian television channel ABC’s flagship news and current affairs program 7.30
Sales was born in Brisbane. She was a journalist with the Nine Network there before joining the ABC and is a graduate of Deakin University (Master of International Relations) and Queensland University of Technology (Bachelor of Journalism).
Sales has held positions in national radio current affairs and was NSW political reporter (covering the 1999 and 2007 state elections and the 2000 Summer Olympics).
Sales presented Lateline on Monday, Thursday and Friday nights (with Tony Jones in the role on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). She has been the ABC’s National Security Correspondent from 2006 until 2008 and was based in Sydney. Sales was the network’s Washington correspondent from 2001 to 2005, covering stories including the Iraq War, the 2004 presidential election, Guantanamo Bay and Hurricane Katrina
In 2011, Sales was appointed presenter of the ABC’s flagship news and current affairs program, 7.30.
In January 2013, Sales hosted the 70 minute Townterview—a mix of a town hall and a television interview—with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Newseum in Washington, DC. It is significant for being the final such program for Clinton as Secretary of State.
Her first book, Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks, was published in 2007 by Melbourne University Publishing (MUP). The book covers Hicks’ case as well as a detailed explanation of the Bush administration’s detainee policy in the War on Terror and the Australian government’s cooperation. Her essay, “On Doubt”, was published in 2009 as part of MUP’s series Little Books on Big Themes which has featured Germaine Greer, David Malouf, Blanche d’Alpuget and Barrie Kosky. She has written for The Monthly and her work has occasionally appeared in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and before their demise, The Diplomat and The Bulletin.
Sales writes a fortnightly blog called Well-readhead, mostly about books and reading. It includes a list of ten interesting things to read, watch or listen to. It appears on both the ABC’s The Drum website and News Limited’s The Punch.
Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast
In November 2014, Sales started a podcast with Annabel Crabb called Chat 10 Looks 3. It is independent of the work they do for other media outlets and is an opportunity for them to talk about books, movies, television, the media and culture.
Sales is married to Phil Willis and they have two children.
Awards and recognition
- 2005: Walkley Award for best Radio Current Affairs reporting on Guantanamo Bay
- 2007: George Munster Award for Independent Journalism for Detainee 002
- 2012: Walkley Award for Broadcasting and Online Interviewing
- On Doubt (2009)
- Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks (2007)