Helen Wellings

Today Tonight
Helen Wellings - Today Tonight reporter

For the past sixteen years, Helen has been the Seven Network’s Senior Reporter on consumer and trade practices subjects.

Helen majored in Russian history at Monash University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and a teaching diploma.

She taught history and English at Victorian high schools for two years.

Today Tonight stories from Helen Wellings

In 1973 she was recruited to the NSW Department of Consumer Affairs to head its education and publicity department.

Helen's job was to prevent problems by implementing public information programs advising industry, commerce and consumers about their responsibilities and rights in the marketplace.

Her media appearances produced a surge of interest in consumer issues.

People's awareness of their legal rights led to unprecedented levels of complaints and requests for help.

In this role, she soon became a household name as the public face of the consumer affairs movement in Australia and a strong advocate on issues affecting consumers.

A raft of consumer protection laws were consequently introduced in NSW and other states soon followed.

In her consumer advocacy role during the 1970s and 80s, Helen appeared daily on national news, current affairs and variety shows, including the ABC's This Day Tonight and The 7.30 Report, Seven's Willesee at 7 and 11AM, Nine's The Midday Show, weekly radio talk-back shows on 2BL and 2GB and as a weekly panellist on the Inventors program, What'll They Think Of Next?

She also wrote columns for several daily and weekend newspapers.

Termed a "crusader for consumer rights", Helen publicly named defective and unsafe products and exposed companies' malpractices and shonky traders. This was the advent of the "walk-in", a technique used to confront dodgy operators while the cameras rolled. It became her trademark.

Helen was seconded to the Department of Energy in 1982 to head an energy conservation program and Save Power Save Money campaign. Following the success of the campaign, she remained working in energy conservation until 1986, publishing weekly newspaper and magazine columns, acting as a public speaker on energy matters and writing a home energy guide.

In 1986 Helen was appointed to the ABC TV’s award-winning consumer watchdog program, The Investigators, as its host and chief reporter for 10 years.

In 1996, Helen hosted Channel Seven's 6.30pm public affairs program Today Tonight. For the past sixteen years, with her long-held consumer affairs expertise, she has been presenting investigative reports for Today Tonight.

Helen has written two books, the top-selling Buying Power: A Guide for Consumers in Australia and Home Energy Guide.

She is an ambassador for the Northcott Society, a respite centre for disabled children, of which she is a life member.

Helen enjoys bush walking in national parks and is passionate about travel, both in Australia and overseas, especially France and Italy, countries which she visits regularly to explore their art and culture.

She has a special interest in contemporary and classical music and jazz and regularly attends concerts. The Brandenburg and the Sydney Symphony Orchestras are favourites.

Architecture is a passion. Helen has been a jury member four times for the Royal Australian Institute of Architect’s National and State awards and was on the jury of the Architect’s Registration Board of Victoria's Architectural Services Awards.

While anchoring The Investigators, Helen won a Logie award for most outstanding current affairs story in 1992, for exposing the rorts of the Homefund scheme. She won a Penguin Award for Best Female Presenter in 1987 and the Better Hearing Award in 1990.

Helen was also awarded the NSW Department of Fair Trading's Consumer Protection Award for 4 years from 2001 to 2005 for her television stories on Today Tonight alerting viewers to unscrupulous traders and practices, as well as unsafe and unmerchantable products.

She continues to hold the position of Senior Reporter for Today Tonight, specializing in consumer affairs and trade practices.