Today Show

TODAY lineup: “Too blonde, thin and white”

Deb Knight has been named as Karl Stefanovic’s replacement on the TODAY show.


It’s coming in from all corners.

First, there was outrage that the show will be boring without a male in the main chair. “I’ll never watch the Today show again,” tweeted Susan. “How boring is watching a female only show[?]”

Then, there was outrage about the reporting of the announcement. In a newspaper article, the respective ages of Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight was included, but the ages of their male counterparts were not.

“Why oh why oh why, in the reporting of the new team, do the ages of the women need to be pointed out, while the ages of the men are clearly regarded as irrelevant?” asked Lisa Wilkinson.

“Similarly, Deb being a mum-of-three is considered significant, but Tony being a dad isn’t? I don’t understand. And we obviously have a long way to go when it comes to #genderequity.”

And lastly, there was outrage about the lack of diversity. Skim the comments across social media and you’ll find countless conversations about the fact that Deb and Georgie are both thin and blonde and white.

Am I the only one thinking… “meh”?

Their ages weren’t included in the initial press release, so the journalist who wrote the offending story must have felt it was important to include.

Partly, it would have been to establish credibility – Georgie and Deb have been in the industry for almost three decades, after all – but if this were all it was about, then the ages of the men would have been reported, too.

That said, the show’s target demographic are women aged 30-50, and these co-hosts are smack bang in the middle of this. After the chaos of Karl, the TODAY show is desperate to let their audience know that they are relatable and reliable.

I think we may be over-reacting to all of this, which is clouding over the biggest, most important aspect of this announcement: two qualified, interesting, experienced television reporters who happen to be female and who happen to be aged in their mid to late 40s, have secured some of the top jobs in television.

Instead of picking it to pieces, let’s celebrate their success!

Child Christmas Present

The perfect number of gifts for kids this Christmas

At shopping centres across the Gold Coast this week, you’ll find volunteers staffing gift-wrapping booths for charity. Please support them! It’s a brilliant idea, where everyone wins: the charity profits off the donations, the shoppers benefit by getting their presents wrapped, and the volunteers in the booth enjoy giving back to the community. Win-win-win!

I am one of the merry wrappers you’ll encounter at a booth this year… and I’ve got to say, the experience has been eye-opening.

I’m not judging. Well, I’m trying not to judge.

But it’s the sheer volume of gifts that people buy, and the amount of money that they’re spending, that is shocking to me.

On the one hand, a woman approached us with 3 gifts: a boogie board, a doll and an art and craft pack. “I have three kids, so one present for each child,” she smiled.

On the other hand, a couple rolled up with 2 full trolleys full of toys, clothes, shows, paints and sporting equipment. “One trolley for each child!” they said.

I’m not sure which kids I feel more sorry for!

I think one gift is perhaps a little grinchy; at least add some stickers and a Kinder Surprise, so they have a few items to open?

But I think a trolley full of gifts is perhaps worse?

It reminds me of this mum, who has made the news as far as New Zealand, the UK and the United States, for her over the top approach to Christmas presents. She’s copping quite a bit of heat online, which isn’t quite fair; she’s just a mum doing her very best to provide a wonderful Christmas for her kids.

The problem is, she’s spent literally thousands of dollars on a veritable toy store full of gifts. In the mix is a TV, playstation, bike, scooter, LOL doll house, and dozens upon dozens of other toys.

It will honestly take her kids a good hour – maybe two! – to open all of these. And once they do… then what? How do they decide what to play with? I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it, I can’t imagine how the kids will process it… with much joy, I guess!

Though there is no magic number, no perfect amount of gifts to give our kids this Christmas, I think it’s fair to say that 1 is too few and 100 is too many.

However many gifts you’re spoiling your little ones with this year – come and get them wrapped for a gold coin charity donation!

Harbour Town Shopping Centre – raising funds for Bravehearts
Robina Town Centre – raising funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation
Pacific Fair – raising funds for Act for Kids and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation
Australia Fair – raising funds for the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation

Blood Donation

WATCH: Blood donors needed this festive season

Gold Coasters are being urged to roll up their sleeves and donate blood over the Christmas holiday period.

With many donors off on Christmas holidays, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is calling on locals to book in to give the gift of blood this festive season.

Community Relations Officer Kristy Purnell told myGC a blood donation was a gift that money couldn’t buy.

“Robina and Southport Donor Centres need 700 donors before Christmas to help with the vital supply for cancer patients,” she said. “Why not give the gift of life this Christmas!”

She said locals who can donate blood before Christmas will receive a special gift, as part of the blood service’s Australia’s Biggest Secret Santa initiative.

“We have these little gift tags which are really sweet and you can donate blood on behalf of somebody,” she said.

To find out more or make an appointment, call 13 14 95 or visit


Here’s to presence rather than presents

While most people appear to be whizzing around trying to make a dent in their Christmas shopping list, I’ve been reading about the psychology of Christmas.

Start digging and you’ll find lots of studies showing that lower emotional wellbeing is common at Christmas.

When did society declare that Christmas should become so stressful?

Considering it’s meant to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, it certainly has its trying moments, doesn’t it?

Perhaps this is a good time to remember that presence is more important than presents. By that I mean, choosing to spend time with those you cherish and really being mindful to be in the room.
Not thinking about how much you have to do, or which presents you haven’t bought yet but really enjoying moments of quality time.

This is so much more important than dragging yourself to every single social outing just because you feel you should or spending far too much on gifts you can’t really afford.

If you switch on the TV, ads will pretend that everyone else is playing happy families and filling the fridge with enough food to feed 5000. It’s all so over the top and unrealistic.

In reality, it’s a tough time of year for many.

It’s a time when feelings of nostalgia and isolation can be overwhelming. Many feel lonely at Christmas and it’s important to remember that not everyone will spend it surrounded by family they love. There are alienated parents right across the country (and the world) that will be carrying a heavy sense of loss at this time of year especially.

So, this is a really important time of year for self-care.

Setting boundaries is crucial and saying ‘no’ is essential.

It is perfectly wise to make time for yourself rather than cramming your diary full just for the sake of it.

Take time to do things you genuinely enjoy and make the time to feel grateful for what you do have.

Also, you don’t have to completely abandon your health because it’s Christmas, it’s perfectly acceptable to take care of yourself. Eating well and getting plenty of sleep will ensure you come out into the New Year without feeling like a shadow of your former self.

Importantly, don’t fall for the hype and don’t get overwhelmed – keep this Christmas in perspective!

Police, paramedics and firies join forces for Christmas road safety campaign

POLICE, paramedics and firies have joined forces for Queensland’s Christmas road safety campaign.

Launching the statewide campaign on the Gold Coast today, Minister for Police Mark Ryan said the summer holidays were without doubt the busiest time on Queensland’s roads.

Two-hundred and thirty people were killed on state roads last year.

Running from this Friday through until February, the campaign will see police out in force targeting the Fatal Five – speeding, drink and drug driving, distraction, fatigue and seat belts.

“The State Government is absolutely determined to reduce the devastation and trauma that is seen on our roads, particularly around this busy period,” Minister Ryan said.

“If we could have one Christmas wish, it would be for zero fatalities on Queensland roads during the holiday period.”

Assistant Commissioner of Road Policing Command, Mike Keating said the Fatal Five was “consistently prevalent” in road fatalities.

“We will be working hard to ensure we target these factors,” Assistant Commissioner Keating said.

“This Christmas, we just want to see everyone make it home safely and enjoy the time spent with loved ones. We don’t want to meet you on the worst day of your life, this Christmas period.”