Debbie Spillane

ABC sports journalist and presenter

Debbie Spillane is a sports fanatic - about all sports but particularly about the world game - and a woman of many 'firsts'.

She was one of the first women sports journalists in Australia, the first woman to do cricket commentary on ABC radio, the first full-time female broadcaster hired by ABC Sport and also one of the first women to umpire men's grade cricket in Sydney.

In 1984, as the first full-time female broadcaster hired by ABC Sport, Debbie first worked as a sideline reporter on ABCTV's rugby league coverage, then went on to report at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

After departing ABC Sport, Debbie dabbled in many and varied media, and media-related activities.

These included being a regular on Andrew Denton's sports/comedy TV show Live & Sweaty, co-hosting Triple J's drive-time program Hard Coffee with Ian Rogerson, working as media manager for the NRL's Canterbury Bulldogs, as well as the Sydney Kings and the West Sydney Razorbacks in the National Basketball League.

Prior to starting out in the media, Debbie coached a schoolboy rugby league team. She was also for one season a co-commentator on rugby league at Newcastle's NEW-FM.

Debbie has also worked for radio stations 2GB, 2DAYFM and Triple M and been a sports columnist for the Sun-Herald and a reporter for Rugby League Week.

She returned fulltime to ABC NewsRadio in 2002 and is currently the network's sports presenter on breakfast. She has been a host of Grandstand since 2012.

Raised on a meat-and-potatoes Sydney diet of rugby league and cricket, she has since broadened her taste to be quite fanatical about Arsenal football club in particular and the world game in general.

She is also a tennis devotee and once organised a holiday in Shanghai to coincide with Roger Federer's scheduled appearance at the Shanghai Masters, but the Swiss ace withdrew from the tournament (an unrelated decision, she has been assured). Athletics, horse racing and basketball are among her other favourite sports.

Debbie chronicled her experiences as one of the first women sports journalists in Australia in her book "Where Do You Think You're Going Lady? (The Adventures of a Sports Mad Redhead)."

Away from her interest in sport, Debbie's main passion is music. She owned a music store before embarking on a career in the media and has occasionally earned a crust as a singer.

Debbie Spillane lives and breathes sport and is one of Australia's foremost authorities on sport in all its forms. That's why she is a thoroughly entertaining, passionate and knowledgeable MC, presenter or facilitator for any sports-related event.