Don Burke

Gardening, Animal and Enviromental Expert

Don Burke is the face of gardening and all things outdoors in Australia. The award-winning backyard guru turned daggy jumpers into a fashion statement, produced Burke's Backyard, Backyard Blitz and Renovation Rescue, all for the Nine Network, published numerous books and won countless awards along the way.

Don Burke is a lively and engaging speaker who entertains audiences from all walks of life with stories of his travels, the lifestyle genre of television, the environment, gardening, animals and animal breeding.

More about Don Burke:

Don's broadcasting career began while he was working at Bonds Nursery on Sydney's Northern Beaches, when he was invited to do regular appearances on Channel Nine.

In 1987 he presented the first episode of Burke's Backyard on Australian TV.

In 1990, Don and his wife Marea, formed CTC Productions to produce not only Burke's Backyard, but also Backyard Blitz (of which Don was the Executive Producer, and which won six Logies) and Renovation Rescue. Many well-known TV personalities had their careers launched by CTC Productions, including Scott Cam, Harry Cooper, Jamie Durie, Nigel Ruck and Jody Rigby and others. Dr Chris Brown was also a presenter on Burke's Backyard.

Burke's Backyard ran on Channel Nine for 17 years before the show ended. In its time, the show won six Logies and two People's Choice Awards. The show was the first to cover a mix of segments dealing with all aspects of Australian life the environment, backyard living, gardening/landscaping, handyman projects, and pets to cooking, craft and interior design. The lifestyle genre was created by this ground-breaking program, leading to a new category being added to the Logie awards to recognise Burke's Backyard as well as other lifestyle shows that followed.

During the span of the show, Don travelled and presented programs from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Italy, France, Greece, Mexico, USA, Bali, Japan, Hawaii, Spain and China.

As a result of the environmental content of Burke's Backyard, Don won the Banksia Award for Media Contribution to the Environment. During the time Burke's Backyard was on air, he spent a great deal of time doing pro bono work for Landcare Australia, Greening Australia, Year of the Tree and other groups. He initiated the APVMA (Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority) to rid Australia of many dangerous chemicals such as the DDT family.

After Burke's Backyard ended, Don was asked to do a series of Friday night mini Burke's Backyards for A Current Affair. He continues to do segments on A Current Affair from time to time. He has also been a panellist on the Paul Murray Live program on Sky News as well as appearances various ABC and Network Ten programs.

Outside of his TV work, Don was Associate Editor of Australian Horticulture for five years and Editor in Chief of Burke's Backyard magazine, which was produced from 1998-2013. He is the author of 15 books including The Lazy Gardener 1984, The Lazy Gardener 2008, six volumes of the Burke's Backyard Information Guide, Home Grown, Indigenous, The Burke's Backyard Ultimate Book of Fact Sheets, Table Talk, Organic Edition 1, Organic Edition 2, and Growing and Using Herbs & Spices.

Don presented radio programs for 12 years on 2UE and continues on radio via syndicated segments for a range of stations around Australia.

Don is on the Science Advisory Council for the University of NSW. He is also patron of Retina Australia and an Ambassador for Asbestos Awareness. He has been an Australia Day Ambassador for over 20 years.

On Australia Day 2010 Don was awarded an OAM for Services to the Environment, Horticulture and the Media.

Don Burke talks about:

  • The Lifestyle genre of television 
  • Back stories from Burke's Backyard
  • Gardening/Landscaping
  • The Environment
  • Great Gardens of the World

Client testimonials

Don was fantastic. The audience loved him because he was so friendly and gave so freely of his time. He focused his talk around local issues which the audience appreciated.

Central Queensland University