Meet "Professional Communicator", Sami Lukis.
Self described gin-loving, fur-mum, and passionate traveller, Sami has a special brand of warm, approachable humour.
We sat down with Sami to discuss her range of media roles, love of the story and her book and podcast, both titled Romantically Challenged, dissecting the crazy world of modern dating...
Describe yourself in less than 10 words:
Romantically Challenged, Gin Loving, Fur-Mum.
Your career has spanned a range of media roles, including Television Presenter, Radio Host, Author, Podcaster, Journalist, Red Carpet Reporter, Professional MC, Columnist and Media Commentator. What is it about the industry that keeps you motivated?
The common denominator in all of the roles I’ve enjoyed over the years is that they all rely on good communication skills – so I guess I could call myself a “Professional Communicator”. My inner-journalist has a constant thirst for knowledge and I really enjoy being able to share that information with others – in a bunch of different mediums.
I’m addicted to the adrenalin rush of live TV and radio and I relish the challenge of having to think on my feet.
I also really enjoy the interviewing process and I love hearing other peoples’ stories. I get a little thrill whenever someone I’m interviewing says, “Wow, I’ve never actually been asked that question before.” That’s always an especially satisfying career moment for me.
More recently, I’ve enjoyed producing and presenting my podcast, Romantically Challenged, where we chat about the crazy world of modern dating. It feels wonderful to produce a podcast that resonates so well with listeners. I know how much they relate to my guests and all their dating stories. And it helps them feel less alone to know that other people are having the same romantic challenges.
You’re actively involved with a range of charities from the National Breast Cancer Foundation to Kids Rehab at the Children’s Hospital in Westmead. What can those of us do - particularly this festive season - to help?
I feel really honoured that my career has given me the opportunity to step up, help out and give back to various charities and organisations over the years. As a Patron for Kids Rehab at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, I’m so incredibly proud that we’ve managed to raise more than $10 million for kids in need!
One simple way that we can all give back this festive season is to give Xmas gifts with meaning - items that also give back to charitable causes or nonprofits in some way. I’ve just become an ambassador for The Hidden Sea Wines. They make premium South Australian wines and they’ve committed to removing 10 plastic bottles from the world’s oceans for every bottle of wine they sell. It’s a lovely gift, it’s Aussie made and it’s helping to save the planet. So, basically, it’s a win-win-win!
What are you most passionate about?
Travelling. Although it’s probably more of an “urge” than a passion for me. I feel this undeniable desire to just get on a plane and go - as often as I can. The fact that I don’t have a husband or kids gives me the freedom to actually do that (I never imagined a global pandemic would be the thing keeping me grounded). I’ve made it my mission to visit somewhere new, at least once a year. Last year it was Cambodia. This year, it was meant to be Obergurgl in the Austrian Alps – but COVID ruined that party.
One of my all-time favourite quotes is: “Travel makes you modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”. I think my parents helped me to understand this, from a very young age. My father worked in the airlines, so travel has always been a huge part of my life. Instead of backpacking around Europe when I left school, I decided to go and live and work in Japan for a year. I’ve also been incredibly fortunate to travel extensively with my work. I probably saw more of Australia in the 3 years I spent working as the travelling weather presenter on The Today Show than most Aussies get to see in a lifetime.
Ten years ago, I decided to turn my passion for travel into a business, organising and hosting small group ladies-only tours of New York and Italy. I’ve sold out every tour since the business started and I was devastated that the pandemic forced me to cancel 4 sold-out tours this year – including my first ever “Hamptons” getaway. I’m keeping everything crossed that I’ll be able to resume the tours next year.
Your best kept local holiday secret:
I know it’s the cliched answer these days, but I really do love Byron Bay. I spent about 6 months there writing my book Romantically Challenged a few years ago. I’d walk on the beach every morning to clear my head and get inspired and then I’d go home and sit on the deck and write for hours. There’s something in the Byron air that just gives me a lovely feeling of peace and happiness… Until the hordes of tourists arrive just before Xmas.
Describe your personal style:
Simple. Classic. Comfy. With a touch of boho chic.
I could never own enough maxi dresses and I’m mad for a frock with pockets.
I work a lot from home, so I spend more time than I probably should in activewear.
I usually become obsessed with a few pieces each season and then pretty much wear them to death. Last summer it was a couple of gorgeous matta ny maxi dresses I bought in the Hamptons. This winter it was a pair of MADEWELL black jeans that I bought in New York – they’re the comfiest jeans I’ve ever owned.
Who is your ultimate style muse?
I don’t really have one. For someone who’s worked in the public eye for most of my career, I’m not fixated with fashion and I don’t even really enjoy shopping, to be honest. I’m pretty fortunate that I’ve developed wonderful relationships with some fantastic Aussie designers, who I can call on whenever I need to borrow a frock for something special.
If you were to enjoy a perfect day, what would it look like?
My perfect day would start with a strong oat milk latte and end with a G&T. In between, I’d be happiest on a mountain somewhere, skiing with friends.
What is your favourite piece from the Sambag collections?
I’m loving your Leather Wedge. It combines the best of all worlds – height, style and comfort.
And our signature question, if you were a shoe, what style would you be?
I think I’d be a Ski boot. It can be incredibly tricky to get the right fit, and wildly uncomfortable and annoying when you don’t. But if and when you do, it’s oh-so worth it … and it’s guaranteed to bring you much joy.