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EXCLUSIVE: How Kylie Gillies’ country Australian childhood almost held her back from one of her biggest career highlights

Why it "really is the cherry on top" of her career.
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Ask anyone to describe Kylie Gillies and they’ll paint a picture of a confident, outspoken woman with a big smile and bright fashion who lights up The Morning Show every day.

But long before she was changing peoples’ lives on the breakfast show, and through her own charity work, Kylie was just a run of the mill country kid.

Having grown up in rural Tamworth, in New South Wales’ north west, it took years for the mum-of-two to fully embrace her incredible platform as a public media figure the way she does today.

Kylie Gillies as a child with her father, Ron Mills, and sister Stacey (left) and Kylie today with her two sons, Gus and Archie.

(Image: Instagram)

“I’m a Tamworth girl from fairly humble beginnings. I think it did take me a little while to latch onto the fact that I can help cause and I can be a voice,” she admits.

“I know I’ve been on TV a long time, but that’s not how I see myself. It’s not false humility, but it did take me a while to think that anyone would care what I had to say.”

When she first became a public figure Kylie hesitated to speak up, worried that people would still see her as a kid from rural Australia, but a lot has changed in the years since.

In the last decade alone, she has championed countless charitable and social causes, both personally and on The Morning Show, and has seen what a difference it can make when she adds her voice – and face – to a cause.

WATCH: Quick questions with Kylie Gillies. Story continues after video.

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She and Larry have seen the direct impact of their support on the show, when viewers and guests call up or send messages saying how a segment changed their life for the better.

“That’s very heart-warming, when you get feedback from people saying, ‘after coming on the show, this amazing thing happened’,” she says fondly.

“We’re not saving the world, don’t get me wrong, but if we can make a big difference in one person’s life, two people’s lives, it makes it worthwhile. It really is the cherry on top [of my career].”

And she’s certainly not stopping any time soon; this year Kylie has joined forces with a whole host of influential Australian women supporting the Witchery White Shirt campaign.

Kylie with The Morning Show co-host Larry Emdur.

(Image: Instagram)

The iconic Australian brand is working in collaboration with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF), fundraising for ovarian cancer research in the hopes of developing early detection test.

This marks the campaign’s 14th year and Kylie’s second time getting involved, a decision driven by her belief that “women supporting women is a really powerful thing.”

She adds: “The stats around ovarian cancer are really scary and to be able to support something that makes such a huge difference is really important.”

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecological cancer in Australia with a five-year survival rate of just 48 per cent, yet its symptoms are hard to diagnose and research is critically underfunded.

Five women are diagnosed with the disease each day in Australia and it kills one woman every eight hours.

Even when it is detected, more than 70 per cent of women are diagnosed in the deadly later stages and those who do beat it face an 80 per cent reoccurrence rate.

Though Kylie has been lucky enough not to have any personal brushes with the illness, she is surrounded by women in all spheres of her life, from family to The Morning Show, and the stats around ovarian cancer put them all at risk.

“We still haven’t got an early detection test for this horrible disease, which kills so many women,” Kylie laments.

“We need money to be able to pay the scientists, to toil away in their laboratories, trying to come up with an early detection test … every white shirt sold is a step closer.”

Kylie has joined forces with a whole host of influential Australian women supporting the Witchery White Shirt campaign.

(Image: Supplied)

It helps that the Witchery shirts, designed by esteemed fashion designer Michael Lo Sordo, are an easy addition to any woman’s wardrobe while also donating 100 per cent of proceeds to the OCRF.

While Kylie tends to embrace bright colours and bold patterns on TV, she has a very different approach to fashion in her downtime.

“We’re a morning show, we try and be bright and colourful and I love all of that because I use that in my professional life,” she says.

“When I’m not on screen, I’m most likely in a white shirt and a pair of jeans be to be quite honest. That or a black t-shirt and a pair of drop crotch, black pants.”

WATCH: Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur do a ‘Fashion Turn’. Story continues after video.

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Despite being an avid lover of classic white button-downs, Kylie often struggles to find styles that fit her as flawlessly as the new Witchery design.

“I’ve got boobs, so I hate a shirt that pulls. And there’s no of Hollywood tape that can hold it together,” she laughs.

Of course, Kylie also uses her style to send a message and she’s hoping that lending her voice to the 2022 Witchery White Shirt Campaign can make a real difference, especially with an election approaching.

“Governments need always need reminding of important causes, it’s just about keeping ovarian cancer visible … in what is a very clouded space of women’s health,” she says.

Kylie’s off-duty style is much more casual than her fashion on The Morning Show.

(Image: Supplied)

With so much going on in the world today, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine, it can be easy for women to forget about their own health, especially when ovarian cancer’s symptoms are so subtle they’re often impossible to detect.

Kylie doesn’t want to put the onus on individual women to save themselves from the disease, but until an early detection test is developed she urges Australians to be vigilant for any signs of this “silent killer”.

Kylie Gillies is a 2022 Witchery White Shirt Campaign Ambassador. The White Shirt, designed in collaboration with Michael Lo Sordo, is available online and in Witchery stores from 19th April – 8th May.

100% of gross proceeds will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to raise funds for the research to develop an early detection test.*

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