Sally completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the Political Science Department at The University of Melbourne. Her PhD was on political advertising in Australia. During her PhD, Sally worked as a research assistant and as a tutor in Australian politics, American politics and media politics. Prior to that, she worked for the federal public service for seven years and also had brief stints working as an electorate officer and a volunteer on election campaigns.
Sally has taught in both the Media and Communications Program and the School of Social and Political Sciences. She was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Journalism at the University of Melbourne in 2011. In 2006, she was the Rydon Fellow in Australian Politics and Political History at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College, London.
In 2008, Sally delivered a plenary on ‘Media, Politics and Political Scientists' at the Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) annual conference hosted by the University of Queensland and was awarded the Henry Mayer Prize. On 11 July 2008, she delivered the Senate Occasional Lecture at Parliament House, Canberra on ‘Politics and the Media in Australia Today'. She will deliver another Senate Occasional Lecture on 29 June 2012, on ‘Media Reporting of the Next Federal Election’. She also gave a public lecture about whether the Australian media are ‘More Powerful than Politicians?’ at the University of Western Australia on 16 August 2012.
Sally is a regular media commentator on Australian politics, elections and the media. She has been published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Good Weekend, The Canberra Times, The Herald Sun and Inside Story. She has also appeared on Lateline, The 7:30 Report, A Current Affair, SBS, JJJ, RRR and ABC Radio National.