Tracey Spicer: “Don't take no for an answer” | Women's Agenda

Tracey Spicer: “Don’t take no for an answer”

Tracey Spicer is one of the most versatile journalists and presenters in the country, with a portfolio spanning television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and online media.

During her 27-year career, she has reported for, and anchored, news, current affairs and lifestyle programs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Currently, Tracey works as an anchor for Sky News, cast member of the Agony series on ABC TV, weekly columnist for Fairfax Media, and presentation trainer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

She is best known for presenting Channel 10’s national weekend and morning news services for 14 years.

Tracey has written, produced and presented documentaries for NGOs in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and India, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Australia.

The mother-of-two is an Ambassador for ActionAid, World Vision, Life’s Little Treasures, and Dying with Dignity, Patron of the NSW Cancer Council and National Premmie Foundation, and face of the Garvan Institute’s research into pancreatic cancer.

As you’d probably guess from her twitter feed, Tracey is passionate about women’s rights, social justice, and equal opportunity. 

The 47-year-old is the convenor of Women in Media, a mentoring and networking group, backed by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. 

For the past two decades, she has become a highly sought-after MC and keynote speaker.”

From the moment I saw Jana Wendt on TV, I wanted to be her. I don’t think it was just because she was an intelligent, commanding, and forensic interviewer. I actually wanted to be a slight, dark-haired woman of European descent, instead of a bogan chick from Brisbane.

My Mum, even though she passed away almost two decades ago. She was a passionate, outspoken woman.  

Me. I grew up in a pretty rough area and, believe it or not, I’m a bit of a softy. I certainly didn’t think I’d sustain a career in the big city for almost 30 years.   

My grandmother, Olive, and Mum, Marcia, always encouraged my sister and I to follow our dreams. Female bosses, like Carmel Travers and Wendy Harmer, have inspired me to stick it out, when times get tough.  

The conviction to stand up for what they believe in, and the courage to fight for the rights of female colleagues.  

Accepting that there is no such thing as work/life balance. Every day is different. I’ve stopped striving for it, as it can be frustrating, indeed, soul destroying.

Paddle boarding! It’s my latest addiction.

Caroline Jones is the Patron of a group I convene, called Women in Media. She has become a trusted, invaluable, role model and mentor.  

Pigheadedness – ha! Not sure whether that’s an attribute. Honesty. Drive. Determination.  

Jeez, that’s a tough one. There are so many. I do a lot of documentary work in developing countries, so I’d have to say equal rights. This would allow daughters to be fed as much as sons. It’s as simple, and complex, as that.

Receiving death threats.

Go for it. Don’t take no for an answer. And grow a thick skin.


Ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness month, a now global phenomenon, a new national survey points to a surprising number of Australian women still living in the dark about their personal breast cancer risk. While almost two-in-three women know someone diagnosed with breast cancer, a mere 23% admit to undertaking adequate self-detection steps, and just under half with an immediate family member diagnosed is unaware of their heightened risk. The findings are concerning, as having an immediate blood relative (mother, sister, daughter) with breast cancer not only doubles a woman’s risk2 but lack of timely detection at an early stage increases the chance of the cancer spreading, which may make it harder to treat and beat.

To help combat the complacency, respected media personality Tracey Spicer has fronted a new documentary to encourage women to arm themselves with knowledge of their personal health profile and take action. Called Let’s Talk About Breasts, the documentary follows Tracey, who confesses to going seven years without a mammogram, on a very personal quest through her own detection experience and showcases a group of her closest friends sharing their deepest fears, hopes and encounters with the disease.

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