Indira Naidoo (born 1968 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) is an Australian author, journalist and television 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.
TV news presenter
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.
In 2009, Naidoo was one of 261 candidates selected to be trained in Melbourne by former US Vice President Al Gore to conduct regular presentations about the impacts of anthropogenic climate change.
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 will be 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 The McFeast Show, Good News Week, The Fat, and Steve Abbott's variety series, In Siberia Tonight. In September 2006 she appeared on Tony Martin's Get This radio show on Triple M.
She has co-presented the Asia Pacific Screen Awards with Australian actor Jack Thompson broadcaster Peter Thompson and Shanghai International TV's Chen Lai for the past 6 years. The awards were broadcast on CNN from 2006–2009, on the Australia Television Network in 2010 and the SBS network in 2012.
In September 2009, she was a contestant on the premiere episode of Celebrity MasterChef Australia.
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 Indira Naidoo gave the Walter Lippmann Memorial Lecture about Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.
Books by Indira Naidoo
- The Edible Balcony (Penguin Lantern), 2011
- The Edible City (Penguin Lantern), 2015
- From the Heart - Women of Letters - essay contributor ( Penguin Lantern), 2014 https://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780670078776/heart-women-letters
Naidoo is married to Australian television producer and director Mark FitzGerald.