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Janet Kim Albrechtsen (born 23 September 1966) is an Australian opinion columnist with The Australian. From 2005 until 2010, she was a member of the board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia's public broadcaster.

Janet Albrechtsen
Born (1966-09-23) 23 September 1966 (age 52)
Alma mater
OccupationJournalist, columnist, critic
EmployerNews Limited
Spouse(s)John O'Sullivan (sep.)
ChildrenSascha, Caitlin, and Jamie O'Sullivan

Early life and educationEdit

The daughter of Danish immigrants to Australia, Albrechtsen was born in Adelaide and attended Seacombe High School. She subsequently studied at University of Adelaide, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours.[1] She subsequently attained a Doctor of Juridical Science from the University of Sydney.[1] Her thesis was titled "The regulation of the fundraising process in Australia: searching for an optimal mix between legislative prescriptions and market forces".[2][3]


Albrechtsen moved to Sydney to work as a commercial solicitor at Freehills.[1] and taught at the University of Sydney Law School. Since turning to commentary, Albrechtsen has written for the Australian Financial Review, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sunday Age, Quadrant, Canada's National Post, The Vancouver Sun, The Wall Street Journal and The Wall Street Journal Asia.[1] She regularly appears on television and radio.

Albrechtsen was a member of the Foreign Affairs Council from 2003 until 2007.

Albrechtsen was appointed to the board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2005. She had previously derided the ABC as a "Soviet-style workers collective".[1][4][5][6]

She told reporters in late 2009 that she was planning to retire from the board, and completed her five-year term on 18 February 2010 without seeking reappointment.[7][8] In 2014 it was reported that Albrechtsen was appointed to an independent nomination panel that advises the Minister for Communications on the short–listing of candidates for appointment to the ABC Board.[9][10]

In 2008, Albrechtsen wrote a chapter for Peter van Onselen's book The Liberals and Power. She argued the Liberals have become preoccupied with "dominating the rational low ground," abandoning the high moral ground to the left. Norman Abjorensen said he appreciated her view of Howard's legacy as not just a transformation of the Australian economy but also one of the Labor Party.[11]

Albrechtsen is an Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.

Albrechtsen conducted a lengthy interview series in 2014 with former Prime Minister of Australia John Howard, which aired as a featured story on Seven Network's Sunday Night, and again in January 2015 as its own five-part series on Sky News Australia entitled Howard Defined.[12]

Albrechtsen is a Director of Institute of Public Affairs and the National Museum of Australia.

Views and influenceEdit

Albrechtsen's views are based around the dignity of the individual, freedom from government control and individual responsibility. She writes about the fiscal responsibility by government[13] and the people,[14] the scourge of political correctness, the divisiveness of identity politics, the paternalism of modern day grievance feminists,[15][16] the growing censorship on campuses,[17] freedom of speech[18] and the role of civil society.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

She was married in 1991 to lawyer John O'Sullivan. They have three children, Caitlin, Sascha and Jamie O'Sullivan. They are now separated.


  1. ^ a b c d e Who's Who in Australia – entry on Janet Albrechtsen
  2. ^ Albrechtsen's SJD Thesis, Sydney University Library website
  3. ^ "Profile: Janet Albrechtsen". The Australian.
  4. ^ Caldwell, Alison (24 February 2005). "ABC critic appointed to board of directors". ABC News. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  5. ^ "ABC Friends label Janet Albrechtsen and Neil Brown panel appointments a declaration of war on independence".
  6. ^ "Janet Albrechtsen appointed to ABC and SBS board appointments panel".
  7. ^ Sharp, Ari (11 November 2009). "Albrechtsen to step down as director on ABC board". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 7. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  8. ^ Meade, Amanda (22 February 2010). "Board vacancy". The Australian. p. Media section, p. 31.
  9. ^ Markson, Sharri (3 July 2014). "John Howard loyalists join ABC panel". The Australian. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  10. ^ Knott, Matthew (2 October 2014). "ABC efficiency reviewer Peter Lewis appointed to broadcaster's board". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  11. ^ Abjorensen, Norman (February 2009). "The long road back to office". Australian Book Review (308): 18–19.
  12. ^ "Airdate: Howard Defined". TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
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  18. ^ Albrechtsen, Janet (25 November 2015). "Paris attacks: fight for liberty must include freedom of speech". The Australian. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  19. ^

External linksEdit