It’s been over a year since we’ve seen new Australian Survivor, but worry no more, the epic Aussie reality game show is back for a brand new season, and this time it’s a test of mental strength versus brute power.
That’s right, the theme of the sixth season of Australian Survivor is Brains vs. Brawn, pitting 12 brainiacs against 12 athletic specimens. The season was filmed on home soil, taking place in Cloncurry, Queensland. The vast and dusky Outback landscape should make for an eye-catching battleground.
The Brains tribe features players from across Australia, including award-winning children’s and young adult novelist Wai Chim, and George Mladenov, a political operative and public servant from the Labour party.
Meanwhile, over on the Brawn tribe, we have AFL legend Gavin Wanganeen, the first Indigenous player to win the esteemed Brownlow Medal. He is joined by Felicity “Flick” Palmateer, a professional big wave surfer who reached World Number 2 in her sport.
Get to know the entire cast a little more below. [Disclaimer: This post will be updated with more information later].
Chelsea Hackett, 22, MMA Fighter, Queensland
Professional MMA Fighter, Chelsea is ready to touch gloves with the Brawn Tribe. Having won her first bout at 13 years old, the two times Muay Thai world champion fighter is a physical force to be reckoned with. With a tactical mind and strong social game, Chelsea will have no qualms severing ties to catapult herself ahead of the competition.
Daini Tuiqere, 26, Personal Trainer, NSW
At a towering 6ft 3, Personal Trainer and bodybuilder Daini, is bringing a whole lot of muscle to the Brawn Tribe. Born in the land of the long white cloud, with Fijian and Maori heritage, Daini was raised by his Mum, Aunt and Nanna, and credits being raised by women as the reason for his macho-free attitude.
Dani Beale, 34, Corrections Officer, NSW
As a Corrections Officer in one of Sydney’s maximum-security prisons, ex-Army truck driver Dani is used to high-pressure situations. Having spent time as a Jillaroo in the WA Outback, she’s no stranger to the harsh, dry conditions. Dani wants her Tribe mates to think she’s an average all-rounder and team player, but when push comes to shove, she’ll take no prisoners!
Emmett Pugh, 31, Health Coach, Western Australia
Self-titled ‘Plant-Based Superman’, Emmett is all about educating people on how to unlock their greatest potential. Obsessed with pushing his body to the absolute limit, he’s no stranger to an Ironman, ultra-endurance run or rigorous CrossFit workout and believes the best bodies are fuelled by nature.
Flick Palmateer, 28, Professional Big Wave Surfer, Western Australia
Currently ranked second in the world for Big Wave Surfing, it’s no surprise that Flick is a fearless and strong competitor. She holds the record for the biggest wave surfed by an Australian woman and is also an accomplished artist, with exhibitions in the works.
Gavin Wanganeen, 48, AFL Legend, South Australia
As one of the most prolific AFL players of all time, former Port Adelaide and Essendon player Gavin has 300 games, a Brownlow Medal, AFL Premierships and a stand in Adelaide Oval to his name. He was the First indigenous Australian to win a Brownlow Medal, has been inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame and is also a life member.
Gerald Youles, 26, Champion Wood Chopper, Queensland
World Champion Wood Chopper Gerald is ready to bring some brute force to the Brawn Tribe. This charismatic kid from the bush is a fifth-generation cattle farmer, who knows his way around the Aussie Outback. The extremely competitive axeman has carved out a living not only winning world championships, but in the unique trade as a master axe grinder. It’s his life passion and is one of only a handful of people in the world to master the trade.
Kez McGee, 25, Bodybuilder, Western Australia
Although Personal Trainer and Bodybuilder, Kez, might have a sweet face, the West Australian will be nothing but ruthless when she steps into the Australian Outback. Her intense physical training has equipped her for the hunger, the physical challenges and the social aspect which she will incorporate into her gameplay.
Shannon Lawson, 30, Model, NSW
Shannon is a full-time Model, health and fitness advocate and Instagram personality. Despite the glamorous life she presents on the ‘gram, she considers herself physically fitter and stronger than most. An athlete in her own right, she is a trained dancer and boxing instructor with a fitness routine that will have the Tribe sweating up a storm
Shaun ‘Benny’ Burdo, 38, Entrepreneur, NSW
Spending years soaking up the high life in Sydney, Benny hit rock bottom mentally, realising that the cars, money, and success all meant nothing. Reassessing what he wanted from life, Benny packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue multiple business opportunities. From running a call centre and being a door-to-door salesman, to selling $4 million plus properties, one thing is certain – Benny can hustle!
Simon Mee, 31, Carpenter, Queensland
A self-proclaimed golden child, Simon has always been exceptionally good at everything he puts his mind to. A recent career change saw him pack up his desk job and pick up the tools to become an apprentice Carpenter. An ex-bodybuilder, Simon is still dedicated to training hard and maintaining his ripped physique and brute force.
Janelle Durso, 43, Cleaner, Queensland
Aussie battler and hardworking mother of three Janelle shouldn’t be underestimated in this game. With a cackle that can carry on for miles, she is ready to stir the pot in the Brawn Tribe. Janelle’s family are her world and she has always prioritised them. Now, she’s putting herself first. Ready to play the best game ever, she has her on eyes on prize to be able to set her kids up for life.
Andrew Ucles, 33, Survival Expert, Northern Territory
Eccentric, passionate, and curious, Australian Wildlife and Survival Expert Andrew hasn’t just come face-to-face with some of the world’s most dangerous animals, he’s ventured to all corners of the globe to seek them out. He’s used to raking in the likes and winning audiences over via his successful YouTube channel, but will he be able to win over his fellow Castaways?
Baden Cooke, 42, Ex – Pro Cyclist, Victoria
Champion cyclist turned businessman, Baden, spent 14 years competing at the highest level. The Olympian has won over 50 races, and even secured a green jersey in the 2003 Tour de France. Having also played poker at a high level, Baden has a strategic mind and is a pro at convincing others to do the dirty work for him.
Cara Atchison, 47, Real Estate Agent, NSW
Real Estate Agency Owner Cara, may be known as the Duchess of Double Bay, but can she bring her reign to the Outback? At the age of 20, the quirky adventure seeker realised that she had a secret power. As an empath, Cara can sense and feel emotions as if they’re part of her own experience – someone else’s pain and happiness, become her own.
George Mladenov, 31, Public Servant, NSW
A self-described ‘spin-doctor for the government’, Labor Party President George believes his whole career has been preparing him for the game of Australian Survivor. Cunning, an expert negotiator and a master manipulator, this high achiever will stop at nothing to make it to the final Tribal Council.
Georgia Jane Ray, 35, Forensic Psychologist, Queensland
Forensic Psychologist Georgia is gearing up to use her profession and play the most mentally calculated game Australian Survivor has ever seen. Although she may seem like the girl-next-door, she’s spent years delving into the mindset of Australia’s most devious criminals and will use her razor-sharp judgment to profile her Tribe mates.
Hayley Leake, 31, Pain Researcher, NSW
Master charmer and academic researcher Hayley is a switched-on Australian Survivor superfan who plans to excel in the game of competitive manipulation. As a professional Pain Researcher, her job is to administer placebo psychological therapy to patients and test the brain’s response to treatment. Also wielding a degree in physiotherapy, Hayley plans to make friends with her healing hands.
Joey McCann, 35, Head Of Partnerships, NSW
Tradesman-turned-Wolf Of Wall Street tycoon, Joey is no stranger to the ruthless realties of playing at the top of his game. With a stamina of steel, he has completed 140 marathons and will be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to endurance challenges. Determined to kill with kindness, Joey is a bundle of positive energy and resilience that rarely waivers.
Laura Wells, 36, Environmental Advocate, NSW
Environmental advocate Laura holds a degree in Biology and a passion for Marine Science. With her work as a conservationist, she is leading the charge as an advocate and ambassador for change. As a curve model, Laura is ready to break the stereotype that models are all beauty and no brains.
Mitchell Shaw, 33, Doctor, Queensland
As a highly intelligent and successful Doctor, Mitch is stepping into the game as one of the smartest competitors on paper. Wielding an IQ in the top 1% of the world, he may well be the secret weapon for the Brains Tribe. As a trusted GP in Brisbane, he prides himself on his ability to connect and earn the trust of his patients.
Phil Ferguson, 28, Artist, Victoria
Viral sensation and internet superstar Phil aka @chilliphilly is best known for posing in their culinary themed crocheted hats, all over Instagram. Their kooky persona has seen them skyrocket to stardom and win over the affection of fans all over the globe. With the ability to naturally charm everyone they meet; this will be their biggest strength within the game.
Rachel Downie, 50, Teacher And Businesswoman, Queensland
Outspoken, award-winning educator Rachel has a passion and determination for life and refuses to be pushed around. Named as the 2020 Queensland Australian of the Year, Rachel’s groundbreaking work as a Teacher, Principal and Entrepreneur, has transformed the education system.
Wai Chim, 38, Author, NSW
As an international award-winning Author of six children and young adult books, Wai is an academic powerhouse. With degrees from some of the most prestigious Universities in the world, this self-proclaimed nerd is a book worm with passionate purists.
Australian Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn premieres on Network 10 on Sunday, July 18.