Our host, Sofie Formica, is joined each week by 4KQ radio
personality Laurel Edwards, gardening expert John Hawkins,
camping and caravanning expert Martin Bowerman and ex-AFL
football star Richard Champion.
Sofie Formica - Host
Great South East host, Sofie Formica began
her television career at the age of 14 and hasn't looked
back since. Her resume boasts appearances on Wombat, Saturday
Disney, Now You See It (as Australia's
first female gameshow host), Just Kidding, Home
and Away, and she was an original member of The
In 1995, Sofie moved to Los Angeles and worked as a reporter
on Extra, a national entertainment magazine show. During
this time Sofie interviewed many Hollywood celebrities including
Bruce Willis, Meg Ryan, Nicole Kidman and the cast of Friends.
With her profile rising, in 1999 Sofie was hand-picked by
Oprah Winfrey and appeared in a 13 part series Oprah
Since that time, Sofie has taken a hiatus, returning to
Australia with her husband Scott to raise their twins, Jack
and Jessica and daughter Emily. Sofie returns to the screen
as host of The Great South East, and couldn't
You can catch Sofie each Sunday afternoon on The Great
Laurel Edwards was always destined to be
a performer. Born and bred in Brisbane, Laurel started singing
and performing while still at school. She was still a student
at Balmoral High School when she started working part-time
for the Seven Network's popular children's show Wombat as
well as participating in Seven Telethons.
From 1987 until 1989 Laurel co-hosted Nine Network's O'kay
for Kids with Tony Johnston. She began working in radio as part of the 4KQ Breakfast team in 1992, and has been with the station for over 20 years.
In 1997, Laurel Edwards was a part of the original team
that saw the first The Great South East episode
go to air, and she has remained an integral part of the show
In 1996 Laurel married Troy Cassar-Daley, and they and their
two children, Clay and Jem, live in Brisbane.
Martin Bowerman is a journalist who, in his early 20s, travelled the world with a tent and a backpack, learning along the way he had been born and bred in the best place on the planet: Queensland.
With a heritage that includes two grandfathers who worked the land and a great-grandfather who was a sea-going ship’s captain, Martin inherited a love of the bush and the ocean, and his favourite activities include camping, hiking, diving and fishing (so much so he spent a year working on game-fishing boats and trawlers in North Queensland). He also has a passion for health and fitness.
Martin is an accomplished author of fishing and camping books, and brings his knowledge of these subjects to the Great South East each week.
Martin has two adult children, Melissa and Scott, who share his love of the outdoors and travel.
Richard Champion or 'Champs' as he is better known, had an AFL football career spanning 14 years, including 10 years with the Brisbane Bears / Brisbane Lions before his retirement at the end of the 2000 season.
Champs has a multi-talented personality, was always prominent in the club's off-field activities and, in 1998 won an AFL Talent Show on Network Seven for his marvellous impersonation of Jimmy Barnes.
That singing talent was put to good use when Champs competed in the popular Channel Seven program "It Takes Two".
You can also catch Champs on a variety of radio shows, but he really shines on The Great South East each week.
There is no challenge that Champs has backed away from and his competitive nature and high level of fitness make him an obvious choice for tougher assignments.
Champs loves golf, and intends to call Brisbane home for many years to come with his wife Anne-Marie and daughters Georgia and Grace.
After a whirl wind year in 2005 which saw Liz beat 12 other contestants to win Channel 7's reality show "The Mole", the self confessed water baby has become a favourite on both Creek to Coast and The Great South East.
At 16 Liz moved with her family from west of Brisbane to Sunshine Beach, Noosa. This saw her say goodbye to her obsession for horse riding and focus on her surfing. Both her father and brother are surfers and Liz was introduced to the ocean before she could walk. She gained a sponsorship from Billabong and was a competitive surfer on the Australian Junior Series for five years.
During this time Liz also found a part time job as a surf judge, and became the first female judge on a World Circuit Tour level. Through her surfing Liz traveled to Fiji, Tahiti, The Maldives, Hawaii and Europe.
Liz still tries to surf everyday, but after competing a Bachelor of Communications at Griffith University her gift of the gab, love for writing and strong interest in Media and Journalism saw her follow a different path.
These days when Liz isn't working for Creek to Coast or The Great South East, or presenting the Queenslander surf report, she loves to escape for a weekend of camping and surfing.
Liz lives for adventure and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty!
Brian joins The Great South East team as a representative of the State Library of Queensland.
He brings a plethora of knowledge to the stories and history the South East has to offer and what he can't tell you, he'll look up at the library!
With the wealth of information Brian provides, we not only explore what there is to do out and about but also how they used to do it many years ago.
Ask Jess Skarratt to describe her ideal job and she'll tell you that it would have to be a mix of travel, meeting people, heart-pumping adventure and giving just about anything a go - which pretty much sums up her new role as a presenter and producer with Channel Seven's much-loved lifestyle and travel show, Great South East.
Jess brings a fresh-faced dose of youthful enthusiasm to the program, along with a desire to add more high-energy and adrenalin-rushing stories to the show's mix. From surfing to diving with sharks, Jess is passionate about jumping head-first into any activity that gets the heart racing.
"I'd describe myself as outgoing and adventurous and someone who doesn't mind getting my hands dirty," says Jess. "But at the same time, I just love people and find that they can be really comfortable with me. I guess I have my down-to-earth, country upbringing to thank for that."
Jess grew up on a farm not far over the Queensland border and spent five years as a presenter, travelling extensively for a national children's info-tainment program. She also worked on four nationally-aired documentaries before joining Queensland Weekender and then Great South East.
"I'm definitely a country girl at heart but also a water baby," confesses Jess. "I just love the ocean and scuba diving is one of my favourite past-times. It's almost a form of meditation for me - slowing me down to appreciate how alive, yet peaceful, the underwater world can be."
Jess counts photography as another of her great passions.
"The opportunity to travel for work has allowed me to snap some amazing shots. I hope to add many more to my portfolio as I explore the great south east. There are so many incredible landscapes and destinations out there."
"Queensland is an amazing place: a tourist and travel playground like no other in the world," says Jess. "I can't wait to share my journeys with our viewers and encourage them to experience their own Queensland adventures."