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Meet Liz Cantor

Channel 7 Presenter.

Liz Cantor (image supplied)
Liz Cantor (image supplied)

This local legend has won the hearts of the community with her vibrant energy and irresistible charm. From reporting on the waves as a surf enthusiast to gracing our screens as a TV presenter Liz Cantor needs no introduction (but we’ll give her one anyway). You can see her on Creek to CoastWeekenderPowerball and presenting weather for 7 News Gold Coast. You can also hear her beach and surf reports on 102.9 Hot Tomato. We chatted to the delightful Liz about why she loves her job and the Gold Coast.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
After finishing school I moved to the coast in 2001 (My family are from Noosa).

What do you love the most about the Gold Coast?
Hands down the lifestyle. I live for the outdoors and we have the best of it in every direction we turn. But also the people. It’s never lost on me that Gold Coasters hand out smiles so freely. In recent years I’m also loving the emergence of an arts and culture scene – from musicals to festivals!

Liz Cantor (image supplied)
Liz Cantor surfing (image supplied)

Tell us a bit about yourself.
From 16 years I was a competitive surfer for Billabong which enabled me to travel the world. Following this I made history as the first ever female surf judge to sit on the World Tour panel. Judging the likes of Layne Beachley and Lisa Anderson. This forged the way for women to participate in determining the world’s best surfers today. After a whirlwind year in 2005 which saw me win Channel 7’s reality show ‘The Mole’, I became a familiar face on Network Seven. These days I present the weather on 7News. The national Live Powerball draws, and on lifestyle shows Creek to Coast and Weekender. In 2016 I got married to Ryan and now my greatest job is as mum to two boys Kit and Fin and daughter Sky, and my dog Bear Grylls. When I’m not working I’m surfing or horse riding!

How did you get started in journalism and what inspired you to become a news presenter and reporter?
Finishing school it was a toss up between studying Marine Biology or Journalism, but I chose the later as my need to share stories and information is hard to suppress! I come from a family of storytellers. My mum was an English teacher and my relatives include camera operators, sports reporters, teachers, writers, authors and journalists. I guess you could say it’s in my DNA! I finished a degree in Journalism at Griffith University here on the coast. I did work experience at all the networks for years, before getting a foot in the door with Channel 7 through my competitive surfing on show Creek to Coast in 2005. I did a course with the Bureau of Meteorology before moving across to weather presenting.

Liz Cantor (image supplied)
Liz Cantor (image supplied)

Can you share any memorable experiences or stories that have stood out to you during your time as a news presenter and reporter?
From a news perspective presenting weather during the 2011 Brisbane floods is etched in my mind. I will never forget the pictures and how much impact the information I was sharing had during that time. On Creek to Coast swimming alongside Humpback whales was unforgettable. On Weekender my first time visiting outback Queensland was life changing. Seeing towns such as Winton and the way they live out there opened my eyes to a whole other side of Australia. I loved it!

What do you love most about your job?
Interviewing people. Especially everyday people! I get such a kick out of being able to draw out information and stories from others and then share it! EVERYONE has something to tell if you ask the right questions.

Liz Cantor (image supplied)
Liz Cantor (image supplied)

What advice would you give to aspiring journalists who are looking to enter the field?
Be ready to be married to the job for a few years! It’s a hard industry to break into, but if there is no other job option for your soul, if you’re there with passion and love for what you do, you will make it with persistence and a humble ego.

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café/coffee spot: I love coffee from Liquid Things, Miami
Restaurant: Date night for Ryan and I is preferably at Piatto
Bar or place for a drink: A spicy margarita at The Tropic, Burleigh because of the ocean view!
Beach: Like asking me to choose my favourite child… but cough, Rainbow Bay

How do you choose to spend your days off?
If it’s a weekday and the kids are at kindy/school, I’ll be horse riding with my best mate Tegan in the Gold Coast Hinterland. If I have the family with me then we’re surfing or at the beach and in the ocean in some form! If it’s an overcast day – my boys have me at Pizzey Park!

Liz Cantor (image supplied)
Liz Cantor (image supplied)

Emily Jade O’Keeffe

Emily Jade O'Keeffe as Tanya in Mamma Mia! The Musical (image supplied)
Emily Jade O'Keeffe as Tanya in Mamma Mia! The Musical (image supplied)

She is a force to be reckoned with and she is the female voice behind Gold Coast’s number one radio Breakfast Show on 1029 Hot Tomato. Add to that, she is the newly appointed ‘Tanya’ in the upcoming Gold Coast production of MAMMA MIA! The Musical (produced by GC Local Matt Ward). Emily Jade O’Keeffe is a woman of many talents, so it was only fitting that we interviewed the Gold Coast sweetheart ahead of her taking to The Star Gold Coast’s stage from Saturday 19th June this year. We chat about her career, her loves of the Gold Coast and what it will be like preparing for her new role!

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve lived here on and off for 18 years now, the last stint has been for the last 9 years.

Tell us a bit about your career to date.
I’ve been working in the media for the last 25 years. I started in Tasmania in radio and moved all around the country for work; from Tassie to Townsville and everywhere in between. My highlights have been launching 1029 Hot Tomato and having a number one Breakfast Show – Galey, Emily Jade and Christo – here for 7 years now. I also launched Nova in Brisbane and was No 1 for 4 years there. Earlier on, I was working on Mornings with Kerri-Anne and with Channel 9 for 5 years. I also wrote during that time for the Courier Mail for a number of years both in print and being one of their first bloggers (when blogging became a big thing) as ‘Emily Everywhere’ which became their most-read blog.

What career achievement are you most proud of?
I don’t have one I’m most proud of, I’ve been happy with every stage and what they all led to each time. My career has kept me busy and happy and fulfilled at every step. I feel really blessed to have been able to evolve and change and grab each opportunity as it came.

Wake up to Galey, Emily Jade and Christo - 1029 Hot Tomato (image supplied)
Wake up to Galey, Emily Jade and Christo - 1029 Hot Tomato (image supplied)

Growing up you performed in a variety of musicals and have been described as a self-confessed ‘drama nerd’, what initially drew you to the stage?
Both my grandfathers were performers. My grandad on my mum’s side was very musical and in bands and my grandad on my dad’s side was an amateur actor. That trickled down to both my Dad and Mum. I watched Dad act in local theatre and Mum play piano daily, so I was always around music and drama and I guess it was both nature and nurture in my family. I then continued the tradition but monetised it in the end by making it my full-time career.

What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming role as ‘Tanya’ in the Gold Coast production of MAMMA MIA! The Musical?
It’s come at a time where I needed some healing and fun after a marriage breakdown and as I get used to a new normal and new family dynamic, I really was searching for some light at the end of the tunnel. This gives me a chance to laugh and have fun with new amazing people and do what I love best, which is perform and make people smile.

What is your all-time favourite ABBA song and why?
That’s like asking who is your favourite child – I can’t answer that one. I love them all! ABBA Gold was the first CD I ever got. I got it for Christmas and if CDs could wear out, that one nearly did.

How much preparation goes into playing your part as ‘Tanya’?
I think Tanya is a lot like me, so some parts will come naturally, she’s cheeky, fun but loving and a fierce friend and that’s me. I just need to nail the dance moves and singing, rehearsals start soon so I’ll let you know.

Emily Jade O'Keeffe (image supplied)
Emily Jade O'Keeffe (image supplied)

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: Double Barrel Benowa
Coffee spot: Randy Warhol Southport
Restaurant: Kiyomi at The Star
Bar or pub for a drink: Nineteen at The Star

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I just love keeping it low key with lots of family time with the kids, parents and friends of my kids which involve good cheese and wine in friends backyards or my backyard while the kids play in the pool or run around having adventures, while we chill and chat.


Mamma Mia! The Musical opens on Saturday 19th June 2021 at The Star Gold Coast, grab your tickets here.

Bianca Dye

Bianca Dye (image supplied)
Bianca Dye (image supplied)

You may recognise Bianca’s voice before you recognise her, as she is the prominent female voice on HIT 90.9FM between the hours of 6-9am every weekday (alongside her co-hosts Dan & Ben). Her bright and bubbly personality radiates through your ears and you just know she is a Gold Coast sweetheart. We were delighted to ask her a few questions ahead of International Women’s Day to talk all things empowerment, career and of course, her local GC loves.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
On and off for most of my life – I have had three different incarnations of a radio show here too! Ha!

What do you love most about living here?
After living in Sydney’s CBD for 8 years, I just LOVE the laid-back lifestyle these days, which is exactly what the GC offers. Plus, how about the beaches?! And the fantastic foodie scene has definitely grown in the last 10 years and has become my favourite place in Australia!

Tell us about your career thus far.
It’s honestly hard to summarise in a few words. But I actually started as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator at the Paradise Centre here in Surfers Paradise. I then worked my way through radio for the last 26 years – first Sydney with the original Nova crew, then did some time in Wollongong and Brisbane. But now I’m back on the Coast doing my dream job with Dan and Ben at HIT 90.9FM!

What’s your proudest career moment?
That’s a tough one – I’m fortunate enough to have had a few in 27 years! One would have to be being the first daytime announcer to beat radio legend John Laws in the radio ratings in Sydney which was pretty cool! And I was lucky enough to be awarded the “Best Announcer In The Country” Award back-to-back. And I believe, I still hold the title as the only female to do that! Humble aren’t I?!

Is there a specific women’s empowerment moment that has inspired you in your life or career?
One of the best movements I’ve seen online is #keepinitreal. It seems simple but being authentic and honest with your followers and listeners has always been something I have promised; and people relate to you when you admit that life isn’t always great!

Hit Network Bianca, Dan & Ben (image supplied)
Hit Network Dan, Bianca & Ben (image supplied)

Where have you felt empowered or disempowered as a woman?
There’s a lot of stories I can’t share as it would publicly shame people… you’ll just have to wait until I write a book when I’m 90! But I guess feeling empowered is when you have a team of amazing people around you that support you and allow you to be yourself. When you do that for fellow co-workers too that empowers them and creates a great environment where you have each others’ backs.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day means something different for every woman depending on where they are in their life and in their own world. It shouldn’t depend on which country, household or relationship that woman is in as long as they are ‘free’, with the right to freedom of speech and the freedom to be who they are. This is the day to shout this from the rooftops and celebrate all women from all walks of life…

What is your International Women’s Day message?
I want to remind women that it’s okay to be unapologetically THEM! Whether that’s being a hot mess, loud, fabulous, smart, tired, exhausted, happy, single, divorced, studying or stay-at-home mums (or those who are NOT mothers), let’s just embrace who we are and stop trying to pretend to be something for other people… #BeYOU!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: no name lane – it’s just downstairs from work and I love grabbing a super clean scrambled eggs with salmon and greens and the staff are always lovely!
Coffee spot: I use my own ‘Before You Speak’ Coffee Sachets at the station – that keeps me fired all day. But on weekends I love a takeaway iced long black at either Brunch N Co in Broady or BSKT cafe in Nobbys.
Restaurant for dinner: Romano’s in Nobby Beach- they have the most drool-worthy marinara with garlic & chilli. Plus dare I say, best pizza ever?
Bar or pub for a drink: Bar is definitely Rick Shores for a cheeky Margi! And as for a Pub, would have to be Rainbow Bay Surf Club for a dirty Schnitty.

How does your weekend usually look?
It always depends on whether I am playing step-mum for the weekend. If it’s a family weekend, we usually bike ride along the beach front, have a picnic and snuggle with a Disney movie on or a barbecue on our balcony. If I have the weekend to myself, it’s usually yoga first thing both Saturday & Sunday. Following that I love heading to any of the local markets with a takeaway coffee. Sometimes I might go for a hike, catch up with mates or go for a beach walk with a girlfriend. I do also love going to the movies with mum. But when we are feeling adventurous we take our Combi to Brunswick Heads for the night!

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