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Lisa Wilkinson’s raw autobiography has been nominated for a huge award – here’s everything we know about the book

''You've seen in the headlines. Now, you'll know the truth.''
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Trigger warning: This post deals with topics including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

For four decades, Lisa Wilkinson has defined the Australian media landscape and now, for the first time, she has released an autobiography.

In July, when Lisa broke the exciting news that she was releasing It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This, our anticipation levels instantly skyrocketed.

The book promised to cover her journey from a teenager in Western Sydney to one of Australia’s most celebrated journalists, with plenty of compelling new details.

Australia went wild for Lisa Wilkinson’s tell-all autobiography.


Now, just months after the 61-year-old’s autobiography was released, the book has been nominated for Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Book Award for 2021 – and Lisa couldn’t be more excited!

Taking to Instagram on Sunday to share the thrilling news, the acclaimed journalist said she was “totally blown away” by the nomination.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me so many beautiful messages since it’s release,” she penned alongside a photo of her posing in her garden with a copy of the book.

“I read every single one of them, I promise, and have laughed, cried, empathised and been truly humbled by the effect the book has had on so many. I have tried too to get back to as many as possible!”

She then urged her followers, friends and family to vote for It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This before joking that her pooch had already voted.

“A huge thank you too to Booktopia for their support and this fantastic award that spotlights ALL of our wonderful local authors. 📚 🇦🇺” Lisa concluded.

With so much excitement around the book’s release last year, it’s no wonder the autobiography has been nominated for such a popular award.

But if you haven’t got your hands on a copy yet, or you want a referesher on everything Lisa covered in it, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading for all the details Lisa shared about her personal and professional life in her award-nominated autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This.

What is Lisa Wilkinson’s book about?

According to Booktopia, Lisa explores her teenage years and describes how she faced relentless bullying which motivated her to make a name for herself.

The book also highlights her career successes, including how she became the youngest editor ever appointed at Dolly Magazine, at age 21 and her 10 years working at Cleo magazine.

However, perhaps the most intriguing passages cover her decade co-hosting Nine’s Today Show, her shocking exit, and her eventual jump to Channel 10’s The Project.

The website’s bio reads: “This is the story of how a young girl from Sydney’s western suburbs came to be such a force in Australian cultural life. It is a story that is honest, funny, engaging – and powerfully inspirational. “

Lisa shared the cover of her autobiography on her Instagram in July.

(HarperCollins Publishers)

How much detail does Lisa Wilkinson go into about her time at Channel Nine?

After discovering she was being paid half of what her co-host Karl Stefanovic was, Lisa infamously parted ways with her Nine family.

It was reported that Karl was earning $2 million, while Lisa was taking home $1.1 million, and after Channel Nine couldn’t negotiate equal pay, she left for The Project.

Her shock exit was a pinnacle point for conversations about the wage gap in Australia, one of the many feminist topics she has tackled in her career.

Today, the 61-year-old took aim at Nine Network’s former CEO Hugh Marks saying he told “complete lies” about her fight for equal pay at the time.

Marks previously told The Daily Telegraph that Lisa was offered a $1.8 million pay package before she left, but claimed she wanted $2.3 million, well over Karl’s $2 million pay.

Lisa worked with Karl on Nine’s Today Show for over a decade.

(Channel Nine)

“I didn’t ask for salary parity, ever. I asked for a fairer share of the spoils that were coming to a show that Karl and I had taken to number one,” Lisa told ABC’s Radio National host Fran Kelly in November.

“I found out the salary Karl was on from two separate sources … and the gender pay gap was off the charts.

“The $2.3 million is a complete lie and has been constantly repeated – it is a complete lie.”

She delves into more detail about her long career at Nine and co-hosting the Today show with Karl in her book, as well as her infamous exit.

In an interview with journalist Hamish Macdonald on The Project to talk about her book, she spoke about feeling betrayed by Channel Nine when she discovered she was no longer a part of the Today Show roster.

Lisa with her daughter Billie at the 2018 Women of the Future Awards.

(Credit: Getty)

“I was standing in aisle six at Woolies holding a can of tuna [when she got the call from management],” she said.

“I felt stupid and humiliated and betrayed and pretty pathetic.”

She also believes the network intended to “humiliate” the star, and Lisa revealed her relationship with Karl is over.

“We are not really in touch,” she shared.

Does Lisa Wilkinson talk about her marriage?

The book explores her long marriage to author and TV commentator Peter FitzSimons, whom she wed in 1992.

The relatively private figure also sheds some new light on her home life with Peter and their three children, Louis, Jake, and Billie.

Lisa moved over to The Project in 2017.

(Channel Ten)

What has Lisa Wilkinson said about her book?

Lisa has kept an air of mystery around her book, but she was sure to drop enough breadcrumbs to pique everyone’s interest ahead of the release today.

She shared the cover of her book on her Instagram, and in her caption, she included a lengthy message that summarises what fans can expect.

“I’ve been working on something that is very close to my heart over the last couple of years – in fact, when I think about it, I’ve been working on this my entire life.

“It’s my autobiography, and I’m excited (and just a little bit terrified) to be sharing the cover with you today,” she wrote.

After her introduction, she delved into the subject matter she decided to tackle and why she has featured some of her most intimate moments.

“I share the roller coaster ride of joys, and sadnesses, the pinch-myself moments, and the hard lessons I’ve had to learn along the way.”


“It’s called It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This, and tells the story of how this magazine-junkie kid from (proudly) the western suburbs of Sydney, worked hard to survive the bumps and bruises of my teenage years, and went on to find myself in situations and places I could have once only ever dreamt about,” she explained.

“In it, I’ve completely opened up on things I’ve never talked about before, not even with some of my closest girlfriends.

“I share the roller coaster ride of joys, and sadnesses, the pinch-myself moments, and the hard lessons I’ve had to learn along the way.

“I’ve left no stone unturned, particularly when it comes to some of the more public moments you’ve seen in the headlines. Now, you’ll know the truth,” she finished.

On The Project, she took a moment at the desk to admit she was “a little bit terrified” to release the autobiography.

Lisa with her husband Peter celebrating his birthday together.


In an interview with Stellar Magazine, Lisa revealed that her friend’s father sexually assaulted her as a teenager.

After harbouring the experience for nearly five decades, she explained to the publication why she decided to speak about it.

“I thought, if [women] don’t come forward and don’t show how incredibly common these experiences are, then the perpetrators win. And I couldn’t be a party to that,” she said.

In her book, she has shared details about the event, which took place at a close friend’s house when her friend’s father cornered her in a room and began to stroke her breasts before rubbing the crotch of her pants.

The presenter wrote that she was able to push the man off her and run to her father, who had just arrived to pick her up.

Lisa also told Stellar that former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins inspired her to share this story in her memoir after confiding in the 27-year-old.

“Women can only speak when they are ready. But there are more women speaking because they now know that they will be believed, they will be heard, and they can seek justice,” she said.

Brittany and Lisa embraced at the March 4 Justice protests in Canberra.

(Credit: Instagram)

What has Harper Collins said about the book?

As one would expect, the Harper family is proud to publish the monumental book, and Lisa’s publisher Catherine Milne spoke about her excitement about the project in the press release.

“Lisa Wilkinson has blazed an unprecedented and enormously successful trail through the Australian media and cultural landscape for more than four decades, winning the hearts and minds of the Australian people in the process,” she confessed.

“Her autobiography is— like Lisa herself—brave, creative, intelligent, honest, warm, funny and tremendously engaging. This is her truth, her story, her life—and I can’t wait for this book to get into reader’s hands!”

“Her autobiography is— like Lisa herself—brave, creative, intelligent, honest, warm, funny and tremendously engaging.”


When was It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This released?

It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This officially went on sale on November 3, 2021, and you can order a copy from Booktopia here.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.

To speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 RESPECT hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.

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