Rewilding facilitator Gina Chick has become the first ever winner of Alone Australia after surviving 67 days in the remote wilds of Western Tasmania/ lutruwita. Completely isolated, stripped of modern possessions, contact and comforts, while challenged by the merciless forces of nature, hunger, and loneliness, the 52-year-old outlasted nine other participants to win the life-changing prize of $250,000.
Gina said: “Coming into this experience, I said the Gina who walked in would not be the Gina that walked out. I left more windswept, more grateful, more in love than I’ve ever been in my life.
“For me, it was never about winning the competition. My focus was on solving my needs every day. I’m not an expert survivalist, but what I’ve found is that I can let my instincts and the land teach me what I needed to know. I really wanted to show that there is a way of being at home in the wild. There’s a way of connecting with an ancestral way of being that isn’t about dominating nature, or about having all the bells and whistles and tricks. I want to thank the palawa for the tens of thousands of years they’ve lived in harmony with this country, leaving footprints for me to follow.”
Ahead of the double episode finale on Wednesday 24 May, only three participants remained – vet and bush regenerator Michael, solo adventurist Mike and Gina. In episode 10, the penultimate episode, Michael took a massive risk. Unable to catch fish or mammals at his campsite, he burnt his remaining energy to move to a new location. But on day 30, the lack of food and time away from his family became too much and saw him tapping out. *“*I just want to go home to my family healthy, and know that emotionally, I am done. I need them,” he said.
In the final episode, after 50 days, only Mike and Gina remained. They had no idea how many others were left, let alone that they were the final two. The biggest storm of the season hit both camps hard, but for Mike, the winds of change were just around the corner.
Mike’s falling blood pressure became a major concern after a medical check on day 64. Low blood pressure can starve the organs of oxygen and can be a sign of deteriorating health. If left untreated this can lead to organ failure. Following the medical check, Mike was extracted by the medical team.
“I feel really disappointed. Winning was very important to me for many reasons. I wanted to bring the money home for our family,” he said. “But I could not have tried any harder.”
After Gina passed her medical check on day 67, her best friend Lee gave her the surprise of a lifetime, revealing that she had won. Gina is the oldest of the ten and Alone Australia now holds the record for the longest with only two participants remaining in the history of the franchise with Mike and Gina surviving 34 days longer than Michael.
As the season comes to an end, Alone Australia continues to dominate in total TV audiences, with five episodes now surpassing the one million viewer mark. The series also continues to dominate digital viewing taking out the top four slots in OzTAM 28 Day VPM rankings.
Kathryn Fink SBS’s Director of Television said: “Well done to Gina on surviving months alone in such a harsh environment, while inspiring so many around the country. We laughed and cried following her incredible journey, as well as those of the other courageous participants. Alone Australia has really captured the public imagination. It’s not only SBS’s highest rating series to date in 2023, but also our most successful ever original commission, in terms of total consumption. More than half of the episodes have now had a Total TV audience of more than one million viewers, with much of that being driven by SBS On Demand. The hit series demonstrates the strong shift to the multiplatform on-demand world that television is increasingly moving to.
“This is such a unique, multi-faceted and compelling show, and in an era where the battle for capturing the attention of audiences with new formats is so fierce, SBS is incredibly proud of how Alone Australia is proving to be a standout new hit series for Australian audiences.”
ITV Studios Australia CEO and Managing Director David Mott said: **“**My congratulations to Gina and to all our wonderful cast. ITV Studios is thrilled to have created a series that has redefined what success looks like in this multi-platform world we live in. My thanks to our passionate production team, format owners A&E and the unwavering support of SBS.”
Off the back of this success, SBS released a special one-hour reunion program Alone Australia: The Reunion. Hosted by Amanda Keller OAM, the entire cast are reunited for the first time since they were dropped in the remote wilds of Western Tasmania/ lutruwita to discuss their experiences and reveal never-before-seen footage*.* Stream now on SBS On Demand or tune into SBS on Thursday 25 May at 7.30pm.
Alone Australia is an A&E Network format and ITV Studios Australia production for SBS.
All 11 episodes of Alone A ustralia and Alone Australia: The Reunion are now streaming exclusively on SBS and SBS On Demand. Alone Australia: The Reunion airs on Thursday 25 May at 7.30pm on SBS.