SHE’S carved a niche in Australia as a successful psychic and businesswoman and has become a reality television star, but even Newcastle’s Jackie Gillies could not have predicted that one day she would receive the key to the city.
On Monday that symbolic gesture will be bestowed upon Gillies by Newcastle City Council.
The Newcastle Herald understands Gillies and her husband Ben, the former drummer of rock legends Silverchair, arrived back in their home town on Saturday from Melbourne to prepare for the civic engagement.
The couple were spotted having brunch on Sunday at The Edwards, co-owned by Ben’s former Silverchair bandmate Chris Joannou, but they were tight-lipped about the honour.
Season Four of the Real Housewives of Melbourne is currently being filmed and it’s expected that Gillies receiving the key to the city will feature in the Foxtel series.
The TV franchise, which chronicles the lives of rich and glamorous women in Melbourne and their tempestuous relationships, made Gillies a mainstream star when it debuted in 2014.
The 37-year-old is renown for her bubbly demeanour, forthright and honest opinions and unmistakable pride in her Novocastrian upbringing, which has made her one of the most popular personalities on the show.
Back in a 2015 interview with the Herald, Gillies said she had a personal connection with Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes and joked she would petition to receive a key to the city and to have part of season three of Real Housewives filmed in Newcastle.
It might be a year overdue, but it seems like Gillies’ wish has come true.
“That's a great storyline," Gillies said at the time.
“Because I love coming back to Newy, you know. I can talk to those [gossip] magazines but there's something special about coming back to Newcastle because this is where I grew up.”
The former Warners Bay High School student began her psychic business in 2004, providing $40 readings in a Lake Macquarie shopfront. A decade later she had a three-year waiting list.
The Herald has learnt this recognition is part of a newly-developed Ambassador program, that highlights individuals and organisations who work across Australia, and worldwide, to promote the City of Newcastle on a national stage.
The Ambassador program has reached out to several prominent Individual Novocastrians and community organisations.
Each are uniquely Novocastrian in their achievements, each successful in their own right at advocating for our great city and each deeply connected to the City of Newcastle.
The names of other ambassadors will be announced over the coming weeks and months.