Derryn Hinch

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Derryn Hinch
Derryn Hinch in 2012
Leader of Derryn Hinch's Justice Party
In office
12 October 2015 – 2 March 2023
DeputyStuart Grimley
Preceded byParty established
Succeeded byParty dissolved
Senator for Victoria
In office
2 July 2016 – 30 June 2019
Personal details
Derryn Nigel Hinch

(1944-02-09) 9 February 1944 (age 80)
New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Political partyDerryn Hinch's Justice Party (2015−2023)
Lana Wells
(m. 1965; div. 1970)
Eve Carpenter
(m. 1972; div. 1980)
(m. 1983; div. 1996)
(m. 1997; div. 1998)
Chanel Hayton
(m. 2006; div. 2012)
Domestic partner(s)Lynda Stoner
(esp. 1979; sep. 1982)[1]
Natasha Chadwick
(esp. 2013; sep. 2015) &
(esp. 2017)[2]
ResidenceMelbourne. Victoria, Australia
EducationNew Plymouth Boys'
High School
News reporter

Derryn Nigel Hinch (born 9 February 1944) is a New Zealand-born media personality, politician, actor, journalist and published author. He is best known for his career in Australia, on Melbourne radio and television. He served as a Senator for Victoria from 2016 to 2019.

Hinch was elected to the Senate representing Victoria as the head of Derryn Hinch's Justice Party at the 2016 federal election.[3] Aged 72 at the time, Hinch was, when elected, the oldest federal parliamentarian ever to be elected for the first time.[4] He lost his senate seat in the 2019 election.[5]

He remained host of his weekly program Hinch Live until the election campaign period officially commenced, in a decision supported by Sky News Live.[6] He has been the host of 3AW's Drive radio show, and a National Public Affairs commentator for the Seven Network on Sunday Night, Today Tonight and Sunrise.

Hinch has been convicted of contempt of court three times, serving two prison sentences and one sentence of house detention.



Hinch began his career at the age of 15 with the Taranaki Herald in New Plymouth, New Zealand in 1960. In 1963, he came to Australia on the MS Wanganella and joined The Sun in Sydney. By 1966, he had become a foreign correspondent for the Fairfax organisation, and in New York became bureau chief in 1972. He lived in New York for 11 years.[7] Hinch returned to Sydney and was editor of The Sun in 1976–1977.


Hinch hosted Beauty and the Beast on the Seven Network between 1982 and 1983. From 1987 to 1991, Hinch hosted his own current affairs show on the Seven Network titled Hinch, which later moved to Network Ten where it ran from 1992 to 1994. In 1994, Hinch joined the Nine Network and hosted The Midday Show for a year. He has also appeared on Dancing with the Stars, Underbelly and Millionaire Hot Seat as a guest playing for charity.[8]

In September 2012, Hinch rejoined the Seven Network as national public affairs commentator, though there were rumours that Hinch might make a comeback (although this never eventuated).[9][10] From February 2015, Hinch hosted a twice weekly news opinion program, Hinch Live, over the weekend on Sky News Australia.[11][12]


In 1978, Hinch had a morning program on 3XY.[13] In 1979, Hinch moved to 3AW, hosting a successful morning program for eight years. In 1987, he left radio to host Hinch At Seven on television.

During the 1990s, he had a brief stint presenting talkback on Adelaide station 5DN, before returning to 3AW in 2000 to host Nightline. In 2001, he began a two-year stint at 3AK before returning to 3AW to host the drive-time program in 2003.[14][15] He was often absent from the programs due to suspension, poor health and house arrest. In August 2012, it was announced that Hinch's contract would not be renewed by 3AW, and he would be replaced by financial commentator Tom Elliott.[16] He is the Melbourne correspondent for New Zealand radio network Newstalk ZB and often presents political commentaries on the station.[17][18][19]


In September 2008, Hinch had a four-week run as The Criminologist (narrator) in the Australian tour of The Rocky Horror Show.[20] He also appeared as himself, in a minor role, in the 2000 film The Wog Boy with Nick Giannopoulos, and reprised the role in its 2022 sequel, Wog Boys Forever. Hinch also made cameo appearances on Fast Forward, which was the same sketch show where he was parodied as Hunch, played by Steve Vizard. Hinch played the role of Senator in 2016 movie The Colour of Darkness.


In 2015, Hinch established Derryn Hinch's Justice Party, and was subsequently elected to the Australian Senate as senator for Victoria at the 2016 double dissolution election on 2 July 2016. At the age of 73, he became the oldest new member ever elected to the Australian parliament.[4] His party's main emphasis is on criminal justice reform, including tougher sentences for violent and sexual offenders, no bail for those accused of a serious violent offence, parole reform, and a public register of sex offenders. Other positions include equal rights for all citizens regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation, tougher laws against animal cruelty, and support for voluntary euthanasia.[21] Following the announcement of the 2016 Senate election results, other Senators negotiated, against Hinch's objections, to allocate him a three-year rather than a six-year Senate term.[22]

In August 2017, it was revealed that Hinch holds an American Social Security number, raising concerns during the dual citizenship crisis that he may be disqualified from office under Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia.[23] However, in September 2017, the Attorney-General made the decision not to refer him to the High Court.[24][25]

Hinch has shown support for capital punishment.[26]

In the 2019 elections, Hinch's bid for re-election to the Senate was unsuccessful.[5] As a result, Hinch's party is not represented in the Australian federal parliament but retains two seats in the Victorian Legislative Council.[27] [28]

Hinch most recently contested the 2022 Victorian state election for the South-Eastern Metropolitan Region but was unsuccessful.

Hinch opposes the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.[29]

In February 2024, Hinch announced that he will run in the 2024 Melbourne City Council election.[30]


Michael Glennon[edit]

In 1985, Hinch reported that Michael Glennon, who had previously been convicted of indecent assault against a minor, was operating a youth camp while facing new charges. Hinch, who says he was concerned that parents were unknowingly sending their children to Glennon's camp, first appealed privately to then Victorian Premier John Cain and the then-Attorney-General, as well as the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia, but in Hinch's words, they "washed their hands" of the situation.[31] Subsequently, Hinch publicly identified Glennon during his trial on the third set of charges, in spite of the strong sub judice rule under Australian jurisprudence. This delayed the trial while Hinch was tried on contempt of court charges; Hinch was fined $10,000 and imprisoned for twelve days.[31] This was the first time anyone had gone to prison on a prior restraint issue in Australia.[32] Hinch appealed his case as far as the High Court of Australia, which affirmed his conviction. In its ruling, the Court held that despite Hinch's motivation of warning the public that Glennon continued to hold a position in a youth organisation, it was sufficient to inform them of the current charges against him, and that the information about his prior conviction was prejudicial under Australian law.[33][34] Hinch called the incident "the thing I'm most proud of in my life."[31]

Mick Gatto's call[edit]

On 24 June 2008, while Hinch was discussing the celebrity status of underworld crime figures during his drive program, Mick Gatto phoned in and had a brief confrontation with Hinch, ending with a death threat.[35]

John Laws[edit]

On 30 July 2007, John Laws and Hinch attended the 40 Years of Radio Legends, after which Hinch complained the "event had been turned into a tribute to Laws", among other comments which caused ill feeling between the two.[36]

On 5 December 2007, Hinch was abused verbally with obscenities by John Laws while dining at lunch with 2CH personality Bob Rogers in a restaurant at the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo, Sydney.[37][38]

Sexual relationship with teenager[edit]

In his 2004 book The Fall and Rise of Derryn Hinch, and in a radio editorial in March 2005, Hinch admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old female when he was in his early thirties, although he stated he "thought she was about 25". Following his on-air admission, Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt called for his prosecution.[39] In 2013, Hinch wrote that after 30 years, the woman had contacted him and said he was wrong about her age. She said she was born in 1961 and they met shortly after he joined 3AW in 1979. That made her 17 at the time of the liaison (which is above the age of consent in Australia).[40] The ABC journalist James Purtill article on 6 July 2016[41] mentions only one (of the two) published self-admissions.

Criminal convictions[edit]

1987 conviction and imprisonment[edit]

Hinch served 12 days in prison and was fined A$15,000 in 1987 for contempt of court after he publicly revealed paedophile Roman Catholic priest Michael Charles Glennon's prior conviction while a trial was still pending.[33][42]

2011 conviction and home detention[edit]

In June 2011, he was convicted of breaching suppression orders against the names of two sex offenders, and was subsequently sentenced to five months' home detention.[43]

2014 conviction and imprisonment[edit]

In October 2013, Hinch was found guilty of contempt of court for breaching a suppression order by revealing details of the criminal history of Jill Meagher's killer, Adrian Ernest Bayley. The judge gave Hinch 90 days to pay the fine, or else face 50 days in prison.[44] On 16 January 2014, one day prior to the expiration of the 90-day period, Hinch advised that he would not pay the fine 'on principle'. He was imprisoned on 17 January 2014.[45] On 7 March 2014, he was released from prison after 50 days, having served his full sentence. He was greeted by his partner Natasha Chadwick, other friends and a substantial media contingent.[42][46]

Personal life[edit]

Hinch has been married five times.[1] His first marriage was to Lana Wells, an editor. His second marriage was to Eve Carpenter, a flight attendant.[47] He then married Australian actress Jacki Weaver. They were married in 1983 and remained so for 13 years before divorcing in 1996. It has been widely reported that they remarried in 1997 before divorcing again in 1998, however Weaver has denied that any such second marriage ever took place.[48][49] He married Chanel Hayton in February 2006 and they separated in late 2012.[1] His most recent publicised relationship was with Natasha Chadwick, a former detective sergeant with NSW Police and freelance journalist.[46]

In March 2017, Hinch told the New Zealand Herald that he had been molested by a brother of one of his father's friends as a nine-year-old boy in his childhood home in New Plymouth in 1953.[50]

Hinch identifies as an atheist.[51]


In 2006, Hinch lost weight and his health declined.[52][53] On 4 March 2007, he revealed on 60 Minutes he had been suffering from advanced cirrhosis of the liver, and that a tumour had been found on his liver. On 27 April 2007, Hinch returned to hospital for additional scans.[54][55][56] On 4 August 2007, Hinch revealed he had inoperable liver cancer.[57]

On 20 September 2010, Hinch confirmed the liver cancer diagnosis, and said that he expected to undergo surgery to remove a third of his liver, and that this would take him off-air for several weeks. Doctors gave him a 60 per cent chance of surviving a further five years.[58] On 4 November 2010, Hinch told his listeners that his doctors had told him that without a liver transplant, his maximum survival would be 12 months.[59]

On 6 July 2011, Hinch underwent liver transplant surgery at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne.[60]

Published works[edit]

  • The Scrabble Book (1972, rev. ed. 1977), ISBN 0-333-23073-6
  • Death at Newport (1986), ISBN 0-207-15422-8
  • AIDS – Most of the Questions, Some of the Answers (1987), ISBN 0-9587779-1-8
  • Death in Paradise (1989), ISBN 0-207-16165-8
  • The Derryn Hinch Diet (1991), ISBN 0-14-016527-4
  • That's Life (1992), ISBN 0-14-016986-5
  • The Ultimate Guide to Winning Scrabble (2001), ISBN 1-86325-324-6
  • 101 Ways To Lose Your Mobile Phone (2001), ISBN 0-646-40631-0
  • The Fall and Rise of Derryn Hinch: How I Hit the Wall and Didn't Bleed (2004), ISBN 1-74066-159-1
  • You are So Beautiful – The Passion and the Pain of Relationships (2006), ISBN 0-646-46322-5
  • I Beat the Booze and You Can Too (2009) ISBN 978-0-9805726-0-5
  • Human Headlines: My 50 Years in the Media (2010) ISBN 978-0-9805726-1-2
  • A Human Deadline – A Story of Life, Death, Hope and House Arrest (2012) ISBN 9780980572629
  • Hinch vs Canberra: Behind the Human Headlines (2017) ISBN 978-0-522-87317-7
  • Unfinished Business: Life of a Senator (2020) ISBN 978-0-522-87353-5


  1. ^ a b c d "Human Headline splits with wife". The Age. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  2. ^ Byrne, Fiona (1 July 2017). "After trading insults over booze and bunnies, crusading senator Derryn Hinch reunited with fiery former lover". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  3. ^ Adam Holmes (3 August 2016). "Hinch in, Muir out as Senate results confirmed". Bendigo Advertiser.
  4. ^ a b Australia's 45th Parliament: Meet the record breakers: ABC 31 August 2016
  5. ^ a b "Senate results: Hanson-Young returns, but Hinch, Anning and Burston are gone". the Guardian. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  6. ^ Perry, Kevin (13 October 2015). "Derryn Hinch to remain on-air for now, as political campaign commences". Decider TV. Archived from the original on 14 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  7. ^ Hinch, Derryn (24 January 2010). "Big Apple con artists fleeced me of $4000". Herald Sun. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Hot Seat: Celebrity Week". TV Tonight. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Rumour mill: Hinch back on Seven?". TV Tonight. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Derryn Hinch signs with Seven Network". TV Tonight. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Knox, David (15 December 2014). "Derryn Hinch joins SKY News". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Derryn Hinch back on TV". 6 February 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Hinch, the Dickens ad and Me | radioinfo". December 2012.
  14. ^ "I'm Derryn, I'm back and that's life". 26 February 2003.
  15. ^ Carbone, Suzanne (26 February 2003). "I'm Derryn, I'm back and that's life". The Age. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Derryn Hinch sacked from 3AW drive radio show". The Australian. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Derryn Hinch: Australian election". 4 July 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Derryn Hinch: Latest from Australia". 17 November 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Derryn Hinch: Sex-offenders register campaign turned down". 5 November 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Oh boy – Derryn Hinch has signed on for Rocky Horror". The Age. 6 August 2008. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  21. ^ "Derryn Hinch's Justice Party - official website". Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  22. ^ "Election 2016: Pauline Hanson secures six-year Senate term, Derryn Hinch has three years until re-election". ABC News. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  23. ^ Dziedzic, Stephen; Belot, Henry (31 August 2017). "Derryn Hinch faces Section 44 uncertainty over US social security card". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Derryn Hinch cleared over citizenship concerns, not going to High Court". ABC News (Australia). 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Who are the other Australian MPs and senators born overseas?". ABC News. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Last man hanged: 50 years in Australia without an execution". BBC News. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  27. ^ "MINISTERS & MEMBERS SEARCH - SEARCH RESULTS". Parliament of Victoria.
  29. ^ Hinch, Derryn (26 January 2023). "Derryn Hinch's view on The Voice to Parliament".
  30. ^ "Derryn Hinch 'seriously considering' running for Melbourne Lord Mayor". Herald Sun.
  31. ^ a b c "That's life for a radio survivor". The Fifth Estate. RMIT University. 15 June 2004. Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 11 December 2006.
  32. ^ "Under the hammer". The Fifth Estate. RMIT University. 8 August 2004. Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 11 December 2006.
  33. ^ a b Hinch & Macquarie Broadcasting Holdings Ltd v Attorney-General (Vic) [1987] HCA 56, (1987) 164 CLR 15 (2 December 1987), High Court (Australia)
  34. ^ The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (March 2002). "Discussion Paper on Contempt by Publication" (PDF). Australasian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 11 December 2006.
  35. ^ Duncan, Jamie (23 June 2008). "Gatto wishes 'maggot' Hinch dead".[permanent dead link]
  36. ^ "Laws calls Hinch a jerk". Herald Sun. 1 August 2007. Archived from the original on 20 September 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
  37. ^ Connolly, Fiona (6 December 2007). "Laws didn't call me an 'armpit transplant' – Hinch". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. Archived from the original on 8 December 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  38. ^ "Laws launches tirade at Hinch and Rogers". Sydney Morning Herald. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  39. ^ " - The Official Derryn Hinch Website". 16 June 2005. Archived from the original on 16 June 2005. Retrieved 26 July 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  40. ^ Hinch, Derryn. "A Personal Postscript". Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  41. ^ Purtill, James (5 July 2016). "The fall and rise of Derryn Hinch". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  42. ^ a b "Emotional Derryn Hinch released from jail over contempt". The Australian. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  43. ^ "Derryn Hinch guilty of breaches, not sorry". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 June 2011.
  44. ^ Portelli, Emily (18 October 2013). "Derryn Hinch fined $100,000 for breaching suppression order". Herald Sun. News Ltd. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  45. ^ Anderson, Paul (17 January 2014). "Broadcaster Derryn Hinch to serve 50 days in jail after refusing to pay $100,000 fine". Herald Sun. News Ltd. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  46. ^ a b "Hinch Released". Seven News Melbourne (Interview). Melbourne: Seven Network. 7 March 2014.
  47. ^ Stritof, Sheri. "The Five Marriages of Jacki Weaver: Third Marriage: Derryn Hinch". Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  48. ^ Casamento, Jo (21 February 2013). "Weaver gives interview to ex-husband Hinch". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  49. ^ "Jacki Weaver". Time Out Sydney. 1 December 2010. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012.
  50. ^ "Derryn Hinch reveals he was 'petrified' during childhood sexual abuse in New Zealand". New Zealand Herald. 15 March 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  51. ^ "The right to be racist?". Sunrise. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  52. ^,10117,18767737-29277,00.html Archived 11 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  53. ^,20281,18667947-5001022,00.html Archived 5 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  54. ^ "Drunks All Round". Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  55. ^ "Health Detour". Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  56. ^ "The Home Straight". Archived from the original on 21 July 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  57. ^ Edmonds, Mike (7 August 2007). "Derryn Hinch admits inoperable liver tumor". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
  58. ^ "Hinch announces he has cancer on air". The Spy Report. 20 September 2010. Archived from the original on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  59. ^ "Hinch has year to live without transplant". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  60. ^ Levy, Megan (6 July 2011). "Hinch gets liver, transplant under way". The Sydney Morning Herald.

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