Rachel Fieldhouse


EXCLUSIVE: We chat with the hosts of Making It Australia

EXCLUSIVE: We chat with the hosts of Making It Australia

Lovers of Masterchef and crafting can finally enjoy both at the same time, with Making It Australia to premiere on Wednesday, September 15.

The competition will see 13 of Australia's best professional and amateur craftspeople compete in two challenges each week, creating personal, handmade items along the way.

The last one standing will earn the title of Master Maker and a whopping $100,000 prize.

The Makers will be judged by award-winning production designer Deborah Riley and well-known paper engineer Benja Harney.

Comedians Susie Youssef and Harvey Breen, who have joined forces as co-hosts, sat down with Over60 to answer some crafty questions.

First up: Susie Youssef. 

Susie is a regular co-host on The Project and has performed comedy on radio, television, and stages in Australia and around the world.

O60: You’re fast. You’re funny. But are you CRAFTY? What’s your history or background in making things with your hands?

I am somewhat crafty. And by somewhat I mean not very crafty. I used to love watching my Mum make clothes and decorate cakes- she is brilliant! My Dad is too and so are my sisters. I’m just better at jokes. I love to muck around with paper and I dabble in knitting but I’m not great and I don’t need to be! Making It introduces you to the bonkers minds of legit makers and it’s amazing to see what they can do.

O60: How important are the arts of making and creating in these modern times, and why?

I think one of the best ways to fill the pockets of time that we have between working and tax returns and existential crises and deciding what to eat for lunch is with making and creating because it’s FUN! It makes you feel like a kid again and reminds us to play. Now (more than ever) it can be a wonderful, mindful distraction from the madness that surrounds us but it can also plug us into the energy of creativity. I loved watching our maker’s minds at work! Most impressive and important was how they recycled and up-cycled to create some pretty wild stuff.

O60: Which medium [macramé, woodwork, glass-blowing, flower arranging etc etc] on the show is your fave and why?

I can’t pick a favourite! I loved watching Andrew do metal work and Will do woodwork and Denise’s brilliance with lace and Sai Wai’s work with fabric and Rizaldy is a wizard with foam. Too many highlights! Also, getting to see some of judge Benja Harney’s paper creations was so inspiring for everyone and the phenomenal work judge Deborah Riley has created will blow your mind.


NO I DON’T, STOP SHOUTING AT ME! I can double dinner though.

O60: Now, please let our readers in on your favourite tidbit about the show or contestants that you are allowed to reveal. The juicier the better!

Harley definitely built the barn with his bare hands and we have a special guest in the series who is crafting royalty…

Next up is Harvey Breen.

Harvey is a comedian, television host and regular on Hughesy, We Have a Problem and The Project.

O60: Would you personally describe yourself as handy or crafty?

Yes I would describe myself as handy... I just finished a bespoke mini caravan for an Italian greyhound... nothing about that sentence makes sense but it is nonetheless true.

O60: What’s different about Making It Australia that viewers will love the most? What will set this show apart?

Well obviously the hosting talents of myself and Susie will set the show apart. But more importantly the talent and diversity of the Makers I think is quintessentially Australian.

O60: Which medium [macramé, woodwork, glass-blowing, flower arranging etc etc] on the show is your fave and why?

Woodwork. Anything relating to timber. I love it. I love the smell of it, the feel of it, the look of it. I love starting with a flat straight piece of timber and turning it into a piece of furniture.

O60: In 2018 you went to Russia with the Socceroos. Now, bringing it back to craft, think fast: DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO A RUSSIAN JOIN?!

No. This question hurts my brain.

O60: Now, please let our readers in on your favourite tidbit about the show or contestants that you are allowed to reveal. The juicier the better!

My absolute favourite part of the show was getting to make TV with Susie Youssef. The nonsense we get up to in our special house that's right beside the barn is some of the most fun I've had making anything in my career. She's the best and I miss her.

Meet the makers

Hailing from all over the country, these 13 makers are talented in a wide array of crafts and art styles.

Andrew, 62

The oldest maker in the competition, Andrew is a scrap metal artist hailing from country NSW.

After following a suggestion from his wife to get in the shed and be creative, Andrew has gone on to receive high acclaim for his scrap metal sculptures, which have become tourist attractions in regional areas all across the east coast.

Dan, 37

As well as working as plumber in South Australia, Dan is a man of all trades, with experience in metalwork, woodwork, masonry, paper, welding, gold and silver smithing, textiles, and spray painting.

He specialises in metal fabrication, modifying cars, and electrics, and is a self-described perfectionist and oversharer.

Denise 61

Taking inspiration from friends, family, and nature, Denise is an accomplished artist who has had many of her works featured in Cottlesloe’s Sculpture By The Sea.

The Western Australian sculptor and university lecturer specialises in metal and stainless-steel pieces, with skills in welding, woodwork, textiles, paint finishes, and knitting.

George, 41

An experienced prop maker from NSW, George has worked in film and television, as well as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Vivid Sydney.

She says she is most satisfied repairing or repurposing rather than throwing it away, and works across mural painting, drawing, welding, steelwork, and pattern making.

Jack, 31

The Victorian architect with a signature red beanie was inspired by the way things can be made by hand as a child, and he has been creative ever since.

As well as having experience in textile sewing and casting work, Jack is an accomplished composer and musician.

Kat, 22

After being inspired in home economics in high school, Kat now makes her own clothes, bags, upholstery and quilts, and shows off her costuming skills as a children’s entertainer.

The South Australian also has a talent for drawing and painting, with experience working with metal and wood.

Rehana, 32

As well as working as a graphic designer, Rehana specialises in baking crazy cakes, crocheting, painting, and designing jewellery and fabrics.

Originally from WA, the mother-of-one has also spent many years in Cape Town before calling Sydney home.

Rizaldy, 55

After moving from the Philippines to Australia in pursuit of his dream job, Rizaldy spent 14 years working as an animator for Disney before making the move from 2D to 3D art.

Now, the NSW creator works with wood, metal, clay, leather, and recyclable materials, with his motto being ‘why buy when you can DIY!’.

Robert, 32

Choosing to pursue art over professional football, Robert specialises in Aboriginal art and takes inspiration from his heritage with the aim to celebrate Gunnai, Waradjuri, Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta culture.

The Melburnian has experience in everything from painting and sculpting to woodcarving, and got to meet Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they came to see one of his murals in 2018.

Russell, 32

This costume maker from Victoria has been described as the show’s glamour expert, having worked with countless drag artists to elevate their looks.

Having spent a lot of time on his own as a kid, Russell turned to making to entertain themself and now loves helping people feel beautiful.

Sai-Wei, 46

A self-described ‘all-rounder’, Sai-Wei is willing to try it all. Though she specialises in fashion design and mixed media sculpture, she also creates 3D pieces using paper, textiles, and embroidery.

Initially turning to making as a way to ease her anxiety, the Victorian has since made a career in design that has taken her family by surprise.

Stephanie, 45

With two kids, Stephanie enjoys spending months planning every detail about their parties, from invites and decorations to the table settings and costumes.

Outside of her job as a learning support officer, Stephanie is a whiz with a glue gun and specialises in paper mâché and cardboard.

Will, 22

Being the show’s youngest competitor, Will hopes to inspire other young people to get away from screens and be creative.

Specialising in metal work, he also has experience in blacksmithing, knife making, woodwork, and manipulating and treating leather.

Images: Making It Australia / Instragram, scrapartoz / Instagram

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