Speakers Profile - Melissa Downes

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Melissa Downes is a popular media identity who's graced Queensland's television screens for the past 24 years, and is currently Nine News Queensland's weeknight presenter, alongside Andrew Lofthouse.

Prior to her appointment to the weeknight news desk in November 2008, Downes fronted the Nine News weekend bulletin for two years.

During her time as weeknight presenter, the well-respected journalist has covered natural disasters like Cyclone Debbie and its aftermath in 2017 and the Brisbane floods in 2011, hosting hours of rolling coverage. Downes also covered the Royal Wedding in London in 2011.

As well as her work in television, Downes has a strong commitment to charity. She regularly hosts fundraising events and in 2016 trekked 250km across the Simpson Desert to raise funds for Youngcare.

Born and raised in Brisbane, Downes graduated from Somerville House in 1988 and competed an Arts Journalism degree at the University of Queensland soon after.

Downes is married to DJ Wendt, owner of music group The Ten Tenors. The couple have two daughters.

During her time at Channel Nine, Downes has reported and filled in as host for the top-rating local afternoon program Extra and has presented south-east Queensland's most watched news bulletin.

Prior to joining Nine, Downes was a reporter and back-up presenter for Seven News and also contributed stories to the Great South East program.

She began working in television in 1994 in Brisbane before moving to the Gold Coast four years later to present Seven's Gold Coast News, a role she had for two years.

Downes has also hosted numerous events from small charity events and functions to the internationally televised Concourse D'Elegance and the RAQ Australian Design Awards, an event she hosted for four consecutive years.

Born and raised in Brisbane, Downes graduated from Somerville House in 1988. Moving to Sydney, Downes modelled full-time for two years before returning to Brisbane to complete an Arts Journalism degree from the University of Queensland.