Indira Naidoo (born 15 May 1968 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) is an Australian author, journalist and television and radio presenter.
Naidoo was educated in England, Zimbabwe and Australia, where she attended Launceston Church Grammar School in Tasmania before matriculating as School Dux from Naracoorte High School in South Australia.
Naidoo completed a journalism degree at the South Australian College of Advanced Education (now the University of South Australia) and joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Adelaide in 1990 as a news cadet. After several years as a political and industrial reporter, she went on to anchor ABC Weekend news and The 7.30 Report. Naidoo then moved to the ABC's National Late Edition News in Sydney where she developed a cult following as the ABC's youngest national news host. She has also written extensively for several food and travel magazines including Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Sydney Morning Herald's 'Good Living' and The Sunday Herald's 'Sunday Life' Magazine.
In 1997, Naidoo was headhunted to present SBS News' inaugural Late News, which she hosted for three years, during which she covered the independence struggle in East Timor, the coups in Fiji and the Balkans war in Kosovo.
Consumer advocacy and environmental activism
In 2006, Naidoo became the media manager and spokeswoman for CHOICE, an Australian independent consumer watchdog. She established the Shonky Awards for the worst consumer products—a highly anticipated annual media event. She has appeared on shows such as A Current Affair and The 7.30 Report in this capacity.
Through her TV company FitzGerald Productions, she has been a consumer communications consultant to the United Nations trade arm in Geneva—the International Trade Centre—and various environmental and community organisations.
Her first book, The Edible Balcony, an urban farming cookbook, published by Penguin in October 2011, sold over 10,000 copies within six months and has been reprinted four times. Her second book The Edible City was published in August 2015.
Naidoo is the sustainability curator with the Australian Garden Show Sydney.
Other TV appearances
Naidoo gained national prominence in 1997 for her less serious appearances on the ABC's Club Buggery, a late-night comedy variety show hosted by Roy & HG in which she starred as policewoman Barbara in a regular comedy sketch—a police spoof titled "Sam Stain" alongside Ian Turpie and actor Harold Hopkins. This was followed by appearances on McFeast, Good News Week, The Fat and Steve Abbott's variety series Under The Grandstand and In Siberia Tonight. In September 2006 she appeared on Tony Martin's Get This radio show on Triple M.
In September 2009, Naidoo was a contestant on the premiere episode of Celebrity MasterChef Australia. In 2017 she was a guest presenter on ABC TV's Gardening Australia program delivering specialist stories on urban gardening initiatives. Later that year Indira hosted the SBS TV series Filthy Rich and Homeless. She co-hosted Breakfast with Indira and Trevor on Sydney's 2CH radio station from 2018 to 2019.
In 2014 Indira was part of a five-actor ensemble which performed The Serpent's Table, a food installation performance piece for the 2014 Sydney Festival. Its sold-out season ran for 15 shows at Carriageworks to critical acclaim.
Naidoo won the South Australian Justice Administration Award for Television in 1993, the Dalgety Award for Excellence in Rural Journalism in 1994 and the Better Hearing Australia (NSW Branch) Clear Speech Award in 1996. She was appointed an ambassador to the Wayside Chapel homeless crisis centre in 2012. She conducts weekly gardening classes for homeless visitors on the Wayside's roof top community vegetable garden. In 2012 Naidoo won the lifestyle award from InStyle Magazine for her food activism work.
Her kitchen garden designed for the inaugural Australian Garden Show Sydney 2013 won the Excellence in Sustainability Award. Her book The Edible Balcony was awarded best garden product at the 2014 Greenlifestyle Magazine awards. In 2014 she gave the Walter Lippmann Memorial Lecture about Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.
In 2017, Naidoo was awarded the Peter Sculthorpe Alumni Prize by the Launceston Church Grammar School for her contribution to broadcasting and the community. The award honours the late Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe who was also an alumnus of the school.
- The Edible Balcony (Penguin Lantern), 2011
- The Edible City (Penguin Lantern), 2015
- From the Heart – Women of Letters – essay contributor (Penguin Lantern), 2014
Naidoo is married to Australian television producer and director Mark FitzGerald.
- Tuohy, Wendy (1 August 2002). "Terms of Indira". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
- Carmody, Broede (22 January 2020). "'Much loved' broadcaster Indira Naidoo returns to ABC after 23-year hiatus". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
- "Indira Naidoo joins CHOICE" Archived 30 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
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- "Ambassadors". Australian Garden Show Sydney. Archived from the original on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. In 2015 Indira was a visiting guest lecturer at the Laurie M Tisch School for Food Education and Policy at Columbia University NYC.http://www.tc.columbia.edu/tisch/news-and-events/all-news/2015/book-talk-with-indira-naidoo
- Profile of Indira Naidoo--
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- Sydney Morning Herald