Our host, avid surfer and fisherman Dean Miller is joined on Queensland
Weekender each week by the very well traveled Bridget Adams, local fishing
expert Scott Hillier,
rugby hero Chris "Buddha" Handy, Chris Parsons and occasionally Creek
to Coast's fishing
guru Gary Howard.
Dean Miller - Host
When Dean Miller walks into a room, people notice. It's
not just that he's a big bloke (192 cm in socks). Or that
he's got a big voice, which is a professional necessity for
an ongoing radio career. But, he's the kind of guy people
like to be around.
And it's this quality that has made him such a popular
television presenter. Dean previously hosted Network Seven's
popular outdoor water recreation program Creek to Coast, and
now hosts Seven's best leisure and lifestyle half-hour, Queensland
Dean effortlessly shares his enthusiasm for his work with
television viewers, and anyone else who'll listen to him harp
on about having "the best job in the world".
He is a professional communicator through and through. High
profile positions in local FM radio have included hosting
the breakfast show at Triple M Brisbane, SEA FM on the Gold
Coast, 4BC and RIVER 94.9.
There have been other jobs along the way, most to fund a
two year "Endless Summer" that took him surfing
across the globe in the late 1980s. But booking British teenagers
on trips to Ibiza from a travel agency in London, and pouring
beers at a wedding reception centre in San Diego, aren't the
kinds of career detours you want to be reminded about in a
These days, Dean is the very proud father of two gorgeous
young kids, a daughter Jordan and a son Harrison.
Dean's ideal Queensland Weekend?
"I'd rent a beach house at Moreton Island with the
family," he decides.
"Or go camping with a few mates at Double Island Point….Or
go for an early morning surf at a South East Queensland right
hand point break like the Alley, Currumbin Alley, or Moffatt
Beach on the Sunshine Coast."
She represented Australia for the coveted Miss Universe crown and has travelled the globe as an international ambassador but Kimberley Busteed is just as happy dangling a fishing line as she is treading a pageant catwalk.
The youngest presenter on Queensland Weekender and Creek to Coast has rubbed shoulders with VIPS the world over but this Gladstone-born girl has lost none of her down-to-earth love for the outdoors.
In fact, one of her favourite childhood memories set the stage for her role in Queensland's popular water-based adventure lifestyle program.
"I just love fishing", said Kimberley. "Growing up in Gladstone, I entered my first angling competition, the Boyne Tannum Hook-up, while I was still in primary school and won a prize for the biggest Flathead."
Add wake-boarding, boating and swimming into the mix and you could definitely describe the statuesque, 20 year old beauty as a fully-fledged water baby.
Kimberley's keen to attract younger people like herself to Creek to Coast's brand of outdoor adventure.
"If I can do it, they can do it!"
Bridget Adams has traveled the world, but
found paradise in North Queensland.
During her 10 years as a reporter with Seven's The
Great Outdoors, Bridget criss-crossed the globe, seeing
the sights everywhere from London to Uganda.
But it's as a presenter with Queensland Weekender that
she's truly found heaven.
The locally produced show means Bridget gets to indulge
her passion for travel, and continue to work in a profession
she loves. But, the icing on the cake is that she's
never too far away from her family, and the 150,000 acres
of Tropical North Queensland they call home.
Bridget, husband Damien and their children, daughter Madeline
and son Cooper live near Cooktown.
It's a lifestyle that the former city-slicker, who
was born in Sydney; schooled on the Gold Coast; and previously
modeled in New York, Germany, Milan and Asia (and appeared
on the covers of Vogue, Mode and Cosmopolitan); never envisaged
for herself. But it's a lifestyle that she adores.
But then, Bridget seems to adore everything about life.
The smile viewers see throughout her stories doesn't
switch off when the camera is off. In fact, she's one
of those people who genuinely has that "sunny disposition".
And if Bridget had the opportunity to plan an ideal Queensland
weekend? Well, it involves a sunny spot with the family,
"We'd be getting out on the northern reef, waking
up at sunrise and jumping into cool, clear blue waters. We'd
spend the day snorkeling, and have fresh fish on the barbie
for lunch. At night, we'd fall asleep to the sound
of waves lapping up against the boat we're staying
Sounds like paradise is on her own doorstep.
If Queensland Weekender had to nominate the program's
equivalent of the class clown, there's no question that Scott
Hillier would get the nod. But that's not using the term "class
clown" in a negative sense. It's in that "lovable
larrikin" way. Scotty is irrepressible; his humour, his
friendliness and his absolute enthusiasm for every day life
seem to know no bounds. And it's contagious.
Television viewers have really taken to Scott's natural
and unpretentious style of TV story telling. Reeling in a
big game fish for the cameras on Queensland
Weekender or as host of Creek to Coast , Scott
will instinctively holler, yell and whoop it up, his delight
saying more than any detailed how to fish guide could.
But then, that's how Scott is, and how he's always has
been, ever since he could toddle over the sand dunes to the
beach from the family home on the Sunshine Coast when he got
his first "foamy" (surfboard) at age 5.
Originally Scott studied for a career in hospitality and
spent a few years as a recreation supervisor at a swanky Sunshine
Coast resort. But he eventually needed to be closer to the
water, and joined the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol
as a patrol officer and completed 10 years with them before leaving.
These days, Scott has a stack of media commitments in addition
to Creek to
Coast. His fishing
reports are heard on Zinc FM Regional Radio in Townsville. He's also on Channel Seven's Local News in Townsville, Carins, Mackay, Rockhampton and Hervey Bay every Friday night for his Scotty's Fishing report, and he contributes fishing reports to The Courier-Mail and the Cairns Post.
Although born and bred on the Sunshine Coast, Scott loves
North Queensland. As does his wife Helga, and their two sons
Ben, 12, and Bailey, 9, who've
also inherited their dad's love of the water.
So, he's torn when pressed to nominate his ideal Queensland
"It's a toss up. Either a trip to the folks' home at Marcoola, so the boys
can catch up with their cousins and grandparents and everyone can play in the
"Or I'd take my wife and kids somewhere remote. Somewhere like the Atherton
Tableland. We'd get a nice treehouse in the bush, where there's plenty for the
wife and kids to do. And I can fish Lake Tinaroo."
Chris "Buddha" Handy
Chris "Buddha" Handy -
few names are more recongnisable in the world of rugby than
this larger than life sporting icon. Even though he is a
Wallaby great representing his country in six internationals,
it's Buddha's deeds and words in the commentary
box that have endeared him to rugby fans across the
globe. And it was this enthusiasm for life which made him
an ideal recruit for Queensland Weekender.
The man who has described a player as having a "face
like a squashed grape" or the All Blacks as being "like
15 mongrel dogs outside a butcher's shop", brings
fresh perspectives to weekend travels.
Whether it be on a country pub tour or jumping on the back
of a camel, Buddha always throws himself into the challenge.
His post-Wallaby resume is the envy of every Rugby enthusiasts,
commentating the TV coverage of every World Cup from 1987
- 2003, as well as the Super 10 and 12 tournaments.
Buddha's capabilities are not limited to the world
of rugby commentary. He is in constant demand as a guest
speaker, both in the rugby and corporate arena, captivating
his audiences with endless stories, sharp wit and his distinctive
And he's a dedicated family man. He has been married
to Mary, his childhood sweetheart for over 30 years and they have
three adult children Rebecca, Sam and Jacob. Buddha is also a
Buddha's wide and varied following is testament to
his affable nature and ability to infect his viewers with
the excitement and emotion of the occasion. As only he can
say, "Go You Good Thing!"
Naturally, Buddha's idea of the perfect Queensland
weekend is a Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, cheering
the Reds to victory over the Blues…. And maybe a few
celebratory coldies at the pub afterwards.
In his own words, Chris Parsons spent
his early years on the Gold Coast developing his BMX and yo
yo skills, before moving to Brisbane for high school and university.
With journalism degree in hand, Chris jetted overseas for
a boys' own tour of France and Spain in a 1974
VW called 'Chad'.
Chris returned home to pursue
a career in the media industry, and claims he had many, "oh
so many" auditions,
before landing a job on a Gold Coast lifestyle show.
to a presenting role on the Briz 31 car show 'Rev
Central', despite the fact that Chris didn't
know a welsh plug from a transformer.
He's tried every
job from labourer to bathroom supplies rep to perfume sprayer
at Myer, but since being a part of Queensland Weekender, Chris
has 'never been happier'.
Chris' perfect Queensland escape? "If it's
in the sun, I'm happy, but plonk me down at Burleigh
heads with friends and a barbecue and you'll never
see a smile so wide. Having said that, put me on a boat in
the tropical north and I sure won't complain," he
Andrew Mirosch has been a chef for some 29 years. In 1988, he set up the iconic Two Small Rooms (with Michael Conrad, who now owns restaurant Two) which won numerous American Express Awards and was inducted into the American Express Hall of Fame. He then repeated this success with his restaurant About Face, also twice winning Gourmet Travellers Award for Best Restaurant in Queensland. In 1995, he gave up his chefs whites for a fishing rod, to follow his dream of becoming a professional fisherman. The kitchen lured him back however and after owning a successful seafood restaurant on Stradbroke Island, moved back to the mainland and has been executive chef at the award winning Lurleen's restaurant at Sirromet winery since 2004.
Andrew is a fierce supporter of Queensland producers and travels to shows and festivals such as the Brisbane Ekka, the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show and Hervey Bay Seafood Festival to perform cooking demonstrations and promote locally grown and caught produce. He develops recipes featuring Australian grown produce for several produce companies and is also a guest chef for Queensland Rail's Masterclass Travel experiences both as a host and chef, highlighting Queensland wine and produce.
As well as his television segments on Channel 7's Queensland Weekender and Creek to Coast programs, Andrew writes a weekly column for QWeekend magazine in Saturday's Courier Mail.
Andrew remains a keen fisherman and likes nothing better than fishing with his kids and showing them the enjoyment of cooking your own catch.
A respected journalist, presenter and broadcaster, Victoria Carthew is affectionately known to her friends and family as the 'Cruise Director' because of her ability to organise events and be the ultimate host, so she fits right in, on the road with Queensland Weekender.
A breakfast regular at 4BC over the past few years, Victoria is a weekly contributor on Greg Cary's morning program, and Peter Dick's afternoon show. From sport to food, family, news or lifestyle, she's got it covered.
Victoria has also worked at the 7 Network for more than 2 decades, culminating in her appearances on Sunrise and Queensland Weekender. A news presenter, reporter and producer she was part of the Host Broadcast Team at the Sydney and Athens Olympics, Manchester Commonwealth Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup. She was also the first female AFL boundary rider during the Lions historic 3-peat.
Life is just as busy on the home-front. Victoria is a mother of 3, with a boy and twin girls keeping her on her toes. She is a valuable addition to the Queensland Weekender team, and looks forward to taking you with her across the Sunshine State.
After 18 years behind a news desk, well known newsreader and reporter Jillian Whiting made a massive career leap in 2009 when she joined the Queensland Weekender team. She wanted to see if the rumours were true. Is working on a travel show actually hard work? It took just one trip, to the Granite Belt in the dead of winter, to find the answer. "It's the best job ever!"
The corporate suits have now been replaced by hiking gear and wetsuits, as Jillian relishes the task of exploring this state. "Even though I was born and bred in North Queensland, I can't believe there's so much I haven't seen."
"I've got a long wish list of stories to cover and places to visit; not to mention all the new things I want to try, it'd take years to do it all!"
However, the business suits have not been banished from her wardrobe; Jillian regularly returns to the Seven news desk when required. She's also stepped in to present the national news on Weekend Sunrise. There's no question though when it comes to nominating a highlight, Jillian says her biggest success has been balancing a media career and young family. She's married with 2 young daughters, Harper and Josephine.
So what makes her ideal Queensland weekend? "Just point me to the nearest beach. The girls adore the ocean... and when they're happy, so am I"
Alastair McLeod is executive chef of Brisbane's iconic Bretts Wharf and the highly acclaimed Tank Restaurant and Bar. He also finds time in his busy schedule to work a presenter on Queensland Weekender and host his own homegrown food show, Off the Eaten Track. (www.offtheeatentrack.tv)
While he unashamedly loves the media work and the opportunity it brings to motivate and inspire people to share his passion for food, there is nothing he likes better than being in the kitchen at Bretts Wharf and Tank Restaurant in Brisbane.
Alastair was classically trained at a number of Michelin listed restaurants in Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy. With anywhere in the world to choose to live in, he moved to Brisbane largely because of the amazing selection of food right at its doorstep.
Alastair is an ardent supporter of local produce. He believes the closer you are to the source the fresher the produce will be and the smaller the carbon footprint.
The food of Queensland is about as eclectic as Alastair's own family heritage - he's a Scotsman born in Ireland to an Irish father and Australian mother with Sri Lankan, Filipino, Spanish, Danish and Torres Strait Islander blood in his veins. What a mouthful!