Australia’s most popular reality television personality.
The mining technician from Perth first came to the attention of Australian audiences when he appeared on the 2017 season of Australian Survivor. Known for his humorous confessionals and witty personality, Luke emerged as a power player on the show, lasting 46 days in the Samoan jungle, and coming seventh in the series.
In 2019 Luke returned to the franchise as part of the Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders cast.
Luke and his wife Mary are parents to two sons and a daughter. Their eldest son, Lennox, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, and their middle child, Nate, was diagnosed with a condition called Global Developmental Delay (GDD). Their daughter, Madeline Snow was born with intestinal atresia and after three weeks spent in a neonatal intensive care unit, the family learnt she had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Leaving his wife and kids behind to participate in Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders was a hard call for the young father, but the chance to improve their circumstances was one the family couldn’t pass up.
"I'm definitely here to win it for my family. I've sacrificed a lot to be out here this time... my daughter was six weeks old [when I left for Fiji]," he said.
"She's been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, so it was worst-case scenario for me, leaving. I'm definitely here for the money because obviously, the money will help my family – every move I make in this game is super critical."
Luke spoke of his family in episodes of the show and what the $500,000 prize money would mean to them.
''Being a father to me means everything. I haven't succeeded in sport or whatever but my boys, daughter and wife, that's obviously what I treasure the most. If I win $500,000 it would be life-changing for my family. It'll give my kids a future that I want to give them so that's why I'm doing it."
It was this motivation that Australian audiences fell in love with. A fan favourite on the show, Luke succeeded to the top 4 and was voted out on day 48 of the 50-day competition.
Not winning the prizemoney for his family was a crushing blow for the unassuming miner from Perth.
Unbeknownst to Luke and his family, Australian audiences rallied behind them and created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money on their behalf, for the prize money they felt Luke deserved. The campaign raised $500,000 and was shut down when donations reached $550,390.
Overwhelmed by the support of the Australian public, Luke said the donations would allow him to get out of debt and finance the medical needs of his children.
"With that money, you don't have to think about the costs," he said. "[My daughter] is already doing trials; it's the back and forth, up and down to the hospitals, and the medications.
"It feels weird accepting it," he said, adding that he had donated his earnings from his previous appearance.
"This time I think it is really going to help."
Luke will next be seen in TEN’s digital series After Tribal, for the 2020 series of Australian Survivor.