Tracey Spicer

Tracey Leigh Spicer AM (born 25 June 1967 in Brisbane, Queensland) is an Australian newsreader, Walkley Award winning journalist and advocate. She is known for her association with Network Ten as a newsreader in the 1990s and 2000s when she co-hosted Ten Eyewitness News in Brisbane, Queensland. She later went on to work with Sky News Australia as a reporter and presenter from 2007 to 2015. In May 2017 Spicer released her autobiography, The Good Girl Stripped Bare. She was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia "For significant service to the broadcast media as a journalist and television presenter, and as an ambassador for social welfare and charitable groups".

Tracey Spicer

Spicer at the Australian film premiere of Grace of Monaco, June 2014
Born (1967-06-25) 25 June 1967
Years active1990−present
Spouse(s)Jason Thompson


Spicer attended high school in Brisbane and in 1987 graduated from the Queensland Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Business (Communications) with a major in journalism.[1][2]


Spicer began her career at Macquarie National News providing reports to the Brisbane station 4BH, before moving to Melbourne radio station 3AW as morning news editor. Spicer moved on to television: first for the rural network, Southern Cross Television, and the Nine Network. The Network Ten station in Melbourne later hired Spicer as a local correspondent and then co-host of the First at Five News in Brisbane. In 1995 she moved to Sydney to present the National Weekend News bulletins, and late night news until it was taken off air in 2005. Spicer remained with Network Ten until the end of 2006.[3][2]

In late 2006, after 14 years with the network, Spicer was dismissed after returning from maternity leave when her second child was two months old. In a 10-page letter of demand served to Network Ten, Spicer claimed she had been discriminated against since giving birth to her first child in 2004.[3] The case garnered attention in the media, with speculation she was fired because of her age; Network Ten strongly denied allegations of discrimination and said it was related to ongoing restructuring of the news division and related cost efficiencies.[4][5] Spicer threatened to take the case to the Federal Court, but eventually settled with the network.[6][7] She signed off for the final time on New Year's Eve 2006,[8] beginning work with Sky News Australia four days later. Spicer worked as a Sky news presenter until leaving in 2015.

Spicer writes the Mama Holiday column for Traveller Magazine’s Sunday edition, focusing on family holidays.[9] Spicer was previously a weekly op ed columnist with Wendy Harmer’s The Hoopla from 2011 to 2015 and travel writer and ambassador for Holiday with Kids Magazine from 2009 to 2014.[10] She was a columnist with the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Since August 2015, Spicer has been an occasional contributor to ABC TV’s The Drum[11] and currently works as a freelance writer, speaker, media trainer and broadcaster through her two media companies, Spicer Communications and Outspoken Women.[12]

Spicer produced a documentary for the World Wildlife Fund, World Vision and other non-government organisations about the plight of women in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and India.[11]

In 2018 Spicer, Lorna Knowles, Kate McClymont, Alison Branley and Joanne Puccini were nominated for a Mid-Year Walkley Award in the Women’s Leadership in Media division for their joint investigation of Don Burke.[13]

Advocacy and views

Spicer is an ambassador for World Vision,[14]:82 the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Queensland University of Technology's Learning Potential Fund[1] and the Penguin Foundation, and Patron of the NSW Cancer Council, the newborn care unit at the Royal Hospital for Women, the Life's Little Treasures Foundation and the National Premmie Foundation.[15][11]

She is also an Ambassador for Dying with Dignity, and is the face of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s research into pancreatic cancer, the disease responsible for her mother's death.[11][16]

In January 2011, Spicer interviewed anti-vaccination campaigner, Meryl Dorey (Australian Vaccination Network now Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network) on 2UE. Citing an editorial in the British Medical Journal which confirmed there was now ‘clear evidence’ that the now discredited research linking autism with the MMR vaccine, undertaken by Andrew Wakefield, was conducted unethically and based on falsified data, Spicer asked Dorey to concede the AVN's "scare campaign" was based on "fraudulent and misleading information". When Dorey tried to direct listeners to her AVN website, Spicer ended the interview prematurely by terminating the call.[17]. And in December 2011, in an article for the Daily Telegraph, Spicer became a public advocate for childhood vaccination when she wrote of her frustration with the growing anti-vaccination lobby.[18]

In a 2010 Daily Telegraph article, Spicer urged politicians to approve the use of "medical marijuana".[19]

In June 2014, Spicer delivered a TEDx talk for Southbank Women in Brisbane, Queensland. In 2015, Spicer featured in a short documentary, Let’s Talk About Breasts.

In 2015, she became an ambassador for KidsMatter, an Australian mental health and wellbeing initiative focused on primary schools and early childhood.[20] Spicer hosted KidsMatters's Starting School videos.[21] In the same year, she was appointed as ambassador for Autism Spectrum Australia.[22]

In May 2017, Spicer addressed the Sydney Institute on the topic “Ways Forward for Women in the Workplace”. In her speech, Spicer argued quotas and targets are insufficient to address gender inequity in the workplace. Spicer was the MC for the 2017 International Women's Day Events in Brisbane.[23]

In October 2017 after the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations made news, Spicer announced that she was investigating powerful Australian men in the media.[24]. She became a vocal #MeToo campaigner on Twitter and encouraged people involved in the Australian entertainment industry to share their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace.

"In the wake of the Weinstein scandal I put out a very small tweet saying I was investigating … people in the Australian media(...)I'd expected to get perhaps a handful, a couple of dozen women responding. To this day 470 people have come forward."[25][26]

Tracey Spicer, The 7.30 Report

The ABC's investigative unit joined Spicer and she created a co-production with Fairfax Media. "These organisations have the most robust resources to uncover the structures protecting the guilty and punishing the innocent."[27] Spicer, Kate McClymont, Lorna Knowles and Alison Branley, won the 2018 Walkley Awards in the print/text journalism and Television/Video Current Affairs Short (less than 20 minutes) categories, for their investigation into Don Burke, who was the first to be exposed by the company.[28][29]

On Australia Day in 2018 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia "for significant service to the broadcast media as a journalist and television presenter, and as an ambassador for social welfare and charitable groups". Spicer reflected, "While conditions have improved in the TV business since I initiated legal action against Network Ten, more subtle forms of pregnancy discrimination permeate many workplaces. So, while we have policies and procedures in place, there remains a rump of cultural resistance to the idea of 'working mothers'.[30]

Together with Melinda Schneider, Spicer launched NOW Australia on 25 March 2018. NOW Australia is "a service to help those who’ve been sexually harassed, assaulted or intimidated at work". A month long crowd funding campaign was launched on the same day.[31] NOW Australia has enlisted thirty Australian celebrities including Tina Arena, Deborah Mailman, Abby Earl and Missy Higgins to act as ambassadors.


In 2019, she was accused of breaching the privacy of #MeToo victims by failing to redact the names and identities of victims who had come forward during the filming of her #MeToo TV series Silent No More.[32] The controversy further intensified when Spicer's lawyers sent defamation warning letters to the victims who spoke out about their concerns online.[33]


On 1 May 2017, Spicer released her autobiography,The Good Girl Stripped Bare, published by ABC Books and Harper Collins, described as ‘part memoir and part manifesto’.

In 2016 Spicer contributed to the report, “Mates over Merit”, a study of gender differences in the Australian media. [34] Spicer’s contribution to the design, analysis and promotion of the WiM survey were recognised by the Walkley Foundation as one of three achievements supporting her nomination for the Walkley’s Women’s Leadership in Media award.[35]

Spicer has contributed stories to the books Unbreakable by Jane Caro[36] and Father Figures by Paul Connolly.[37]

Tracey Spicer appeared in 3 events at the 2017 Brisbane Writers Festival in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[38][39]


Spicer was named the 2016 QUT Alumni Service Award Winner, in recognition of her advocacy for the QUT Learning Potential Fund, which provides scholarships to students whose financial circumstances might prevent them from pursuing higher education.[1] Spicer also sits on the judging panel of The Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalists Award.[40]

On Australia Day in 2018 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia "For significant service to the broadcast media as a journalist and television presenter, and as an ambassador for social welfare and charitable groups."[41][30]

In October 2018 Spicer was named winner in the social enterprise and not-for-profit category of The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence awards.[42]

On 22 November 2018 Spicer won the Walkely awards in the print/text journalism and television/video current affairs short (less than 20 minutes) categories, with Kate McClymont, Lorna Knowles and Alison Branley for their investigation into Don Burke.[28][29]

2019 New South Wales Woman of the Year in recognition of her "contribution across NSW to industry, communities and society."[43]

2019 Sydney Peace Prize awarded to the #MeToo movement to be accepted by Spicer and Tarana Burke on 14 November 2019.[44]

Personal life

Spicer is married and has two children.


  1. "Tracey Spicer named 2016 Alumni Service Award winner". 26 September 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  2. "Tracey Spicer". Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  3. "Ten Axes Newsreader Spicer". 28 November 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  4. "Spicer discrimination 'untrue': Ten". 28 November 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  5. "Ten accused of discrimination over newsreader sacking". 29 November 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  6. Gadd, Michael. "Channel 10 journalist reaches settlement". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  7. "Tracey Spicer Settles With Ten". 31 January 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  8. Tracey Spicer Farewell. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  9. "Columnist, Tracey Spicer". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  10. "Articles by Tracey Spicer". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  11. "Tracey Spicer". 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  12. "Speaker, Tracey Spicer". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  13. "Finalists announced for 2018 Walkley Mid-Year Awards". the Walkley Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  14. "Looking Back on The Vision, The stories behind World Vision Australia's First 50 Years" (PDF). 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  15. "Our Patrons". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  16. "Tracey Spicer, Ambassador". 26 September 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  17. Tracey Spicer interviews Meryl Dorey. Macquarie Media PtyLtd. January 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  18. Spicer, Tracey (28 December 2011). "Campaign of fear gives me the needle". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  19. Spicer, Tracey (18 January 2010). "Tracey Spicer argues for use of medical marijuana". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  20. "Introducing KidsMatter ambassador Tracey Spicer". Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  21. "Starting School". Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  22. "Announcing Our Latest Ambassador, Tracey Spicer". 31 March 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  23. "Brisbane IWD Breakfast". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  24. McClymont, Kate (27 November 2017). "'A high-grade, twisted abuser': Don Burke a sexual harasser and bully, claims series of women". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 29 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  25. Knowles, Lorna; Branley, Alison (27 November 2017). "Don Burke accused of sexual harassment, indecent assault during Burke's Backyard heyday". Archived from the original on 30 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  26. "Don Burke: Gardening guru speaks out against indecent assault and sexual harassment allegations". 28 November 2017. Archived from the original on 29 November 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  27. Spicer, Tracey (27 November 2017). "The Australian media industry operates a protection racket for men like Don Burke". Archived from the original on 29 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  28. "Kate McClymont wins two Walkley Awards for Don Burke investigation". 23 November 2018. Archived from the original on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  29. Meade, Amanda (23 November 2018). "Walkley awards 2018: Guardian Australia's Deaths inside project recognised". Archived from the original on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  30. Davidson, Helen (26 January 2018). "Journalist Tracey Spicer 'humbled' by Australia Day honour". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  31. Byrnes, Holly; McCabe, Kathy (24 March 2018). "Time's Up movement comes to Australia as high-profile women launch NOW Australia". Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  32. Wolfe, Natalie (22 November 2019). "Sexual assault survivors exposed by #MeToo documentary starring Tracey Spicer speak". NewsComAu. News Corp Australia. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019.
  33. Hall, Bianca; Carmody, Broede (7 December 2019). "'False and malicious': Tracey Spicer's lawyer hits back at detractors". The Sydney Morning Herald. NSW. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019.
  34. Groves, Don (5 March 2016). "New Study Shows Staggering Harassment and Abuse Numbers For Women In Australian Media". Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  35. "Finalists announced for Women's Leadership in Media and Best Freelance Journalist awards". 1 June 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  36. Caro, Jane (17 July 2017). Unbreakable:Women Share Stories of Resilience and Hope. Penguin Books. ISBN 9780702259678.
  37. Connolly, Paul (August 2017). Father Figures. ISBN 9781925475357. Retrieved 31 July 2017. Twenty of Australia’s brightest and funniest writers share the joys, hazards and mysteries of fatherhood and how we all relate to ‘dad’.
  38. "Brisbane Writers Festival 2017". Uplit. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  39. Brooker, Georgia (24 August 2017). "Brisbane Writers Festival marks 55 years of inspiration, education and entertainment through words". Weekend Edition. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  40. "The Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalists Award". National Press Club of Australia. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  41. "MEMBER (AM) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA" (PDF). p. 47. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  42. Patten, Sally (17 October 2018). "Women of Influence 2018 winner fights for recognition of Indigenous Australians". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  43. "NSW Premier's Woman of the Year". 4 March 2019. Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  44. Martin, Lisa (30 April 2019). "Tarana Burke and Tracey Spicer win Sydney Peace prize for #MeToo work". Archived from the original on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
Preceded by
Ten Morning News

Succeeded by
Natarsha Belling
Preceded by
Ten Weekend News

Succeeded by
Steve Liebmann
Preceded by
Ten Late News Weekend

Succeeded by
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