Born in Gladstone, Queensland, grew up in Papua New Guinea and was educated in Australia. She has two sons.
Tonia had extensive editorial and journalistic experience with A.C.P., Fairfax and Murdoch with numerous well known magazines, both weekly and monthly and was in-house author and Editor with J.B. Fairfax Press. Tonia has written 28 books on cooking, craft, home decorating and DIY.
Tonia had ten years with Australian Vogue, which included designing, marketing, product development, teaching, plus photographic styling for fashion, craft and home interiors.
Australian National Sewing Manager for Bernina, similar position with Janome. Eight years as National creative consultant and face of Lincraft, and concurrently twelve years nationally for Kresta Blinds.
She owned Australia’s largest decorative cushion manufacturer Rapee, which involved extensive travel and manufacturing in Australia, China, India and Thailand, and exporting to Europe and America.
Taught Textile and Design to secondary school students at Kincopal, Rose Bay, Sydney. Consultant to international fabric designer John Kaldor. Lecturer in Interior Design at David Jones, Sydney.
She spent eight years with Network Ten’s Healthy, Wealthy and Wise (prime-time television program) as life-style, DIY and travel presenter, concurrent with eighteen years with Good Morning Australia as craft, cooking, travel and lifestyle presenter, again concurrent as presenter/host of ‘Creative Living with Tonia Todman’ and afternoon chat-show host. Currently is a regular for cooking programs on radio 2CA.
In the late 1990s, as part of a small consortium, Tonia built and later managed a 60 bed low-care Aged Care facility, ‘Eden Terrace’, at Reservoir Victoria, and she is currently a public speaker for the retirement and aged care industries. Also in the late 1990s she part-owned a water bottling plant in Jungsan, China. This project saw the development of an historic water spring into a viable producer of bottled water for the surrounding cities on the Eastern seaboard of China, near Hong Kong.
She is a frequent participant in Melbourne and regional Food and Wine festivals as presenter of cooking demonstrations, where she actively encourages the use of local, seasonal produce. She is an enthusiastic renovator of many old houses and gardens with husband Michael. Her web-site, toniatodman.com was amongst the first offering on-line shopping, her weekly fact sheets from television and access to her subscribed magazine.
Her school for cooking, interior design, gardening and craft is established at ‘Highbank’, her home in Kyneton, Victoria. See www.toniatodman.com Her latest book ‘Smart Living’ was released through DJ’s and KMart and all bookshops nationally in November, 2007. Smart Living covers food, home and garden and was written to enable young people to become adept at home-making and to embrace some facets of self-sufficiency.
Tonia and Michael have established the largest fragrant rose garden in Central Victoria, the produce of which supplies florists, hotels, designers and weddings. Her roses can be viewed on www.toniatodmanroses.com
Leisure interests include horticulture, theatre, food and wine and her dogs and horses.
She was first listed in Who’s Who of Australian Women in 2006 and continuing editions. Also is a Life Australia Day Ambassador for Victorian Government and Life Ambassador for Variety Club, Life Member of NSW Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, a member of Epworth Hospital Foundation and a member of Daylesford and Macedon Producer’s group.
Tonia became a weekend resident of Daylesford in 1997, and is now a full-time resident of Kyneton in Victoria’s Central Highlands.