The respected journalist and mother-of-two always seems to have her hands full with career projects, most notably nabbing high-profile gigs on Channel Seven’s Sunrise (2002 to 2013) and Sunday Night (2015 to 2019) and has recently launched a seven-episode podcast on Audible called Age Against the Machine.
Mel confesses she loves being busy, but because of this she also preaches the importance of self-care.
“I like being proactive. I’m the sort of person that if I don’t have something to do I’ll make something to do. I’ll find something, I’ll create something,” the Bio Oil ambassador explains.
“I like achieving things. I just have this thing where I never want to feel like I’m wasting a day. I’m not saying that sitting down and having some quiet time is wasting a day by any stretch but I just like to be doing things. I can’t help myself.”
Mel, who has teamed up Bio Oil to promote their Bio Oil Dry Skin Gel, says that she prioritises fitting in self-care into her jam-packed schedule, with skincare one of the things high on her agenda.
“You want to look after yourself so I think it’s actually really important to look after your skin and your health and all of the things that make you, you and strong. But it’s also about feeling good,” Mel says.
“I’m probably not the girl that lights the candle and sits outside and meditates. That’s not really me, I wish I was! For me, self-care is probably more practical things like looking after my skin or fixing my hair or working out what to wear.”
And while Mel is busier than ever with her new ventures, she knows all too well thanks to her former hosting role on Sunrise what it’s like to be under scrutinythanks to your job, with the career moves of key breakfast show identities often making national headlines.
Sam Armytage’s shock exit earlier this year became a point of public interest as did longtime rivals Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic’s respective exits on the Today show before that (not to mention the axing of Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight to pave the way for Karl’s return).
As one of the few people in Australia to know exactly how it feels to be in the centre of a media storm thanks to a departure on a breakfast show, did Mel find it hard not to reflect on her own experiences when the news of big TV personality’s exit breaks?
“Look, I think I’m detached,” Mel tells New Idea.
“I left eight years ago, it was so long ago so I feel that people in every industry every day change roles and change jobs, it happens everywhere all the time across every single field. I understand that our job has a profile and with that comes conversation, speculation and all of those other things but I just think that I like doing new things.”
She adds: “I think change is really good and really healthy and keeps you healthy and keeps you vibrant and learning new things. So when I hear of anyone changing a role whether it’s in a TV job or anything else I actually get excited for them. I think, ‘Wow you’ve done that, you’ve ticked that box, that’s so cool, good luck with what’s next, I can’t wait to see what you do!’”
As well as being accomplished in her professional life, it’s a similar story on the personal front, with Mel enjoying a happy marriage with longtime husband John Dunlop, with whom she shares two children, Nick, 20, and Talia, 17.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Mel is looking forward to spending some quality time with her brood – and not having to make a single plan!
“I’m hoping they totally spoil me rotten,” she laughs.
“I always say the greatest gift is do not let make a single decision today. I do not want to have to make any decision on anything. I do not want to decide when we eat, where we eat, what we do , I don’t want to make any decisions – that’s the biggest gift.”
However, she jokes a few material presents wouldn’t go astray this Sunday.
“Mind you, I’ve also been screenshotting a few things that pop up on Instagram and sending them to my daughter with a wink and hint, hint so that’s always good,” she chuckles.
“But I figure if they can take over the decision making for the day I will be overjoyed.”