career

Johanna Griggs lets us in on the secrets to her success and staying on top of it all.

Panadol Rapid
Thanks to our brand partner, Panadol Rapid

Johanna Griggs is an accomplished former athlete, media personality and mother. When she’s not juggling different hats, she’s also making time for passion projects and the people that she loves. We want to know all the secrets to her success and how someone so busy and accomplished makes the most out of every minute.

You’ve had a very successful career, both in swimming and media – what do you think drove you to achieve such high levels of success?

In the pool – and even in my life afterwards – I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by great teams. You’d think that swimming is a solo sport, but the reality is that there are so many people supporting you and giving you feedback and advice about how to make yourself better, so it’s quite a social activity. In that way, I think I was driven by the desire to do well, but also by the competition. This meant I had to be quite disciplined and reactive to feedback I was getting, and that is still relevant in all other aspects of everyday life.

I think that being an athlete prepares you to know how to get the most out of yourself, the most out of whatever project you’re doing, and the most out of your time.

  Once you’d finished with swimming, what inspired you to get into media? It was quite a natural progression for me because I was offered a number of media opportunities on the back of my swimming career, and because I’m someone who doesn’t like doing anything by halves, I really wanted to learn from the ground up. [Channel] Seven promised to train and invest in me, so that’s who I went with. [When it came to learning about the industry,] I was prepared to put the hours in, be disciplined and manage my time to learn. I was able to follow directions and take feedback. These were important lessons I learnt from swimming; that you take what works, leave behind what doesn’t, and keep going and building from there. In sport, you have good days and bad days; days where you put in every iota of effort and energy and things don’t work out, and it’s the same in media. The ability to let go of the bad days but use the learnings to ask yourself “how I can improve?” and ask the people around you to show you a better way to do something, is very important. It’s something that I’ve taken from swimming and applied to my life in media.

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What have been the highlights for you from your time on the small screen?

Doing House Rules for the past few years has been a highlight. This year, the family element has been great, and I think audiences have really gotten on board with that – it’s good, clean family fun. Obviously the finale, that beautiful moment when Luke and Cody won, was a highlight, but the episode that we did when we transformed the Leukaemia Foundation’s Waverton accommodation was lovely too – it’s great to be able to give back and raise awareness for an important cause. I’ve been lucky to build a career on the back of Better Homes and Gardens [BHG]. The really lovely thing about BHG is that it’s become an ingrained part of people’s lives and routines – we have a loyal audience who will tune in regularly. It’s incredible how much people feel ownership of that show and feel connected to it. It’s been running for more than 20 years and it’s been a real privilege to be invited into people’s homes.

If you could do a DIY project with anyone, who would you do it with and what would you do?

It sounds cliché, but it would be my husband. Our business is in construction, so we already do a lot together and work really well together, so it would be some project in that sphere. Because of my experience on BHG, I’ve had the privilege of accessing some of the most stunning homes in Australia, I love architecture and interiors, and I take a lot of inspiration from the homes I see. Our phones aren’t full of pictures of family, but of interesting photos of door handles, bits of carpet and floors – beautiful, interesting things to look at and inspire you.

Date night. Heading out to friend’s Birthday Party. #evenwithmybungeye #cantwait A photo posted by Johanna Griggs (@johgriggs7) on

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How has parenting changed now that your children are adults?

It’s changed so much – it’s gotten a lot easier and it’s so much fun. Our relationship isn’t so much that of parents and children anymore, and the only time we really parent them is when they come to us for advice, or the usual nagging of living with boys: “flush the toilet, put the toilet seat down, put your wet towels away.” That part never goes away. But other than that, they’re more like housemates, and it’s really great to have them around.

What has been your greatest lesson in life?

Appreciate what you’ve got, because you never know when things will turn a knife’s edge. Nourish relationships. Don’t over-critique things that don’t have to do with you and that you can’t control.

What are you most proud of?

 I’m proud of treating everyone with respect and dignity – that’s a great lesson for everyone, especially in media. I’m proud of raising two boys who are brilliant adults, and I’m proud of the fantastic balance we’ve been able to achieve between our private and public lives. I’m proud of making time for people that I love.

How do you make the most out of your day?

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