Channel Nine’s Peter Hitchener, or Hitch as he is known, has been bringing Melburnians their news for more than 41 years. In 2015, Hitchener celebrates 50 years as a newsmaker – the past 42 of them with the Nine Network.
Peter was born and raised near the rural Queensland town of Texas, near the New South Wales border. In 1965 Peter Hitchener began working at Brisbane radio station 4BH, writing, editing and presenting news.
A year later he took up a full-time position in radio and television at ABC Brisbane. Hitchener moved to the ABC in Sydney in 1973 and again worked in radio and television, before joining TCN-9 in Sydney to present National Nine News. A year later, in 1974, Peter moved to GTV Channel Nine in Melbourne.
He presented news bulletins with Sir Eric Pearce and later became deputy to Brian Naylor. As well as news broadcasts, Peter also hosted radio programs, with 3AW and later 3AK. Hitchener took over as chief newsreader for GTV-9 in 1998, when Brian Naylor retired after 45 years in the business.
Peter supports a number of charities and supports St Kilda in the AFL, and Melbourne Storm in Rugby League.
Elisabeth has more than 30 years of experience in corporate affairs and communications. She started as a journalist, contributing to newspapers, radio programs and magazines and writing several books. Elisabeth has an in-depth understanding of the not-for-profit, government and corporate sectors, and her most recent roles were as GM Corporate Affairs at Rural Ambulance Victoria, Head of Communications at the Bushfire Appeal Fund and Head of Corporate Affairs at national youth mental health foundation headspace.
Elisabeth is currently the CEO of youth homelessness organisation, Ladder. Working with young people and communities to ensure they have the best outcomes possible has been a focus for the past decade. Elisabeth has a Masters of Communications and her thesis was on the role sport plays in building social inclusion. She is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and has won international awards for government engagement campaigns.
A former television journalist, David migrated to TV fiction in the late 1990s, and has since written for all three commercial networks, the ABC, and Foxtel. Currently working on Australia’s number one drama, ABC’s The Doctor Blake Mysteries, David is also writing a high concept adult series with Screen Australia backing, and developing a satirical narrative comedy for Princess Pictures.
Before writing on, and script producing, the International Emmy winning Nowhere Boys for Matchbox/NBCU, David penned the record-breaking season opener of historical melodrama A Place to Call Home, nominated for both most outstanding and most popular drama Logies in 2016. He co-created and wrote the Logie and AACTA-nominated Carlotta bio-pic for ABC, and developed the internationally successful Prisoner reboot Wentworth for Foxtel.
In addition to script and development executive roles at both the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Matchbox Pictures, David’s other drama credits include All Saints, Stingers, Bed of Roses and Dance Academy, dramedies Winners & Losers, Last Man Standing and Always Greener, and serial dramas including Something in the Air and Neighbours.
Farrah Tomazin is a senior journalist and investigative reporter for The Age, and a former state politics editor for The Sunday Age. She joined Fairfax Media in 2000, with stints in general news, courts and crime, and urban affairs, before spending several years as a features writer and education editor for the paper. She has covered numerous state and federal elections throughout her career; reported on the Bracks, Baillieu, Napthine and Andrews governments in Victoria; and has taken an active interest in stories relating to social justice, infrastructure policy and government integrity. Her in-depth coverage of issues such as same-sex adoption reform, Safe Schools and marriage equality have also placed her at the forefront of important national debates relating to the LGBTI community.
Emma Page Campbell is Lady Mayoress of Melbourne, a practising lawyer and Governance Manager at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. She has recently returned from maternity leave following the birth of baby Henry in 2014.
Emma is Patron of the National Council of Women of Victoria and Patron and Co-chair of the Lady Mayoress’ Committee. She has a long involvement with Artists for Kids Culture, a charity which is supported by local artists and the arts community and raises funds to enable arts and cultural opportunities for kids living in the inner city.
Emma was a volunteer night manager at the Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre in the mid to late nineties for a period of three years, has been honoured to be a Midsumma Dog Show judge since she became Lady Mayoress, and is a long time Joy FM listener.
Georgie is a transgender advocate and winner of the 2016 GLOBE LGBTI Person of the Year. She became the youngest Australian to be granted pubertal suppression in 2011. Her court case re: Jamie became the focus of an appeal before the Full Bench of the Family Court in the same year. The landmark re: Jamie decision brought down in 2013 removed Stage 1 treatment (pubertal suppression) from the court’s jurisdiction. That law reform changed the way doctors were able to treat transgender adolescents around the country and gave them safe and timely access to the medical assistance they required.
Georgie has been a firm and fearless advocate for removing the Family Court from the medical decisions of transgender adolescents. In March 2017 she took over 15,000 signatures to Canberra and presented them to the Attorney General asking for the law to be removed. Georgie’s personal story has been told by Four Corner’s ‘Being Me’ as well as an Australian Story ‘About a Girl”. She was the youngest person to receive the Making a Difference Award by the Anti-Defamation Commission in 2016. Also in 2016 she was awarded an ADF Long Tan Young Leaders Award and a place in the Melbourne University Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program.
In 2017 Georgie became the inaugural winner of the Young Voltaire Award presented by Liberty Victoria. Georgie’s visibility and advocacy has positively influenced the public conversation around transgender children in Australia. She hopes to continue that advocacy into the future along with a career in broadcast journalism. Georgies was born and raised in Melbourne and is currently studying year 11 VCE at Elwood College.