Today's birthday 16/8

Virginia Trioli has won two Walkley Awards

Today's Birthday, August 16: Walkley Award-winning journalist Virginia Trioli (1964 - )

She's one of Australia's most hard-hitting journalists with two Walkley Awards under her belt but Virginia Trioli has proven she's still human in a number of humorous, on-air slip-ups.

Known for her steely-eyed approach, Trioli has made her name by holding powerful people to account but the veteran reporter has shown she continues that resolve in her personal life - once confronting a man she caught rummaging in her car in the early hours of the morning and placing him under citizen's arrest.

Virginia Trioli was born in Bendigo on August 16, 1965. Her family later moved to Melbourne, which would remain her home for a number of years as she forged her way in her career.

After graduating from University with honours, Trioli started out in journalism as a cadet at The Age.

She went on to give nine years to the newspaper, working as a reporter, features writer, assistant editor, New York correspondent and columnist. From there she moved to Australia's oldest weekly newspaper The Bulletin, before finally taking up a job with ABC local radio in 2001.

Trioli hosted Drive in Melbourne for eight years, before trying her hand at Sydney's Mornings - while also appearing on Lateline and ABCTV's Sunday Arts.

But in 2008 she made her move in breakfast TV, hosting the ABC's morning show, rising daily at 3am to attempt to send her viewers "away smarter".

Despite the impossibly early starts they face, Trioli's co-host Michael Rowland had nothing but praise for her in an interview this year.

"I think she is the ABC's best interviewer in news and current affairs," he told Domain. "Whip smart, fantastic ability to laugh at herself and everything else that goes on in this wonderful show."

That sense of humour has surfaced in a number of on-air gaffes in her career, including an ill-timed hand gesture indicating then-Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was crazy in 2009 and a comment she made during coverage of the US election suggesting Donald Trump was leering at his wife's breasts rather than her ballot paper.

But more importantly, Trioli's work has seen her win two Walkley Awards, including one for a landmark interview with former Defence Minister Peter Reith over the infamous children overboard scandal.