Inspirational Women Series: Gretel Killeen

Whilst many may know Gretel best from the seven-years she was the host and co-writer of the Logie Award winning Big Brother, her credits both on and off screen are endless and impressive. An award winning TV host, comic, journalist, actor, voice artist and author, Gretel is also regularly seen on TV and heard on radio as a social and political commentator.


She balances her many roles with grace and professionalism and, in addition, has also worked tirelessly for charitable organisations around the world. Gretel was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for seven years, travelled to Pakistan in 2015 for The Fred Hollows Foundation, is now a Pink Ribbon and Australia Day Ambassador, created CSA’s for unexploded ordinance in Laos and poverty awareness in Bangladesh and even wrote and directed a documentary on AIDS orphans in Zambia.


Gretel and I first met well over a decade ago now, when she was the host of Big Brother. It was a dream come true for me when we first connected, as I was a fan of her both on-screen as the host of my favourite guilty pleasure (don't judge me!) and off-screen as the author of some of my favourite books (Hot Buns and Ophelia anyone?!).


It was the most refreshing experience to meet someone whom I held in such high regard and to find her to be just as nice, warm, funny and professional as she seemed in the public eye. It can be a rare thing in the entertainment and media industry and I relished our long conversations about every topic under the sun! 

Gretel Killeen is a powerhouse and she is so with no ego and bucket loads of passion and hard work.


I don't know when she gets the chance to take some time out, but am so thankful she did (with her signature sense of humour!), long enough to be a part of the Biz Gals Inspirational Women Series.

Biz Gals: What is your greatest achievement? 

Gretel: Raising my son and daughter as a single mum, learning to trust my own values, and learning to treasure good and kind people.


Biz Gals: What is the greatest lesson you have learnt? 

Gretel: If you want to make your bum look smaller you can extend the crack with an eyebrow pencil.


Biz Gals: What is the best bit of advice you have been given? 

Gretel: Turn every worry into a problem, and then solve it. 


Biz Gals: What or who inspires you? 

Gretel: Boldness, uniqueness, goodness, Pippi Longstocking and Dr Seuss.


Biz Gals: What is your biggest hope for women in the future? 

Gretel: That we all have the  bravery, belief and support to become the unique and powerful woman that we were born to be.

Gretel’s latest book, The Zebra Who Lost Its Spots, is a modern fable for everyone about love, courage and difference and how complete freaking nutters get to rule the world.

Words: Natalie Kessell 

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