When One News reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams landed her dream job as TVNZ’s Australian correspondent late last year, it was a moment of pure happiness for the talented journalist and her fiancé, TV presenter Matt Gibb.
“It was always my long goal to be a foreign correspondent, even when I was studying,” she smiles. “It’s something I’ve worked so hard for.”
Matt had to give up his gigs co-hosting Lotto and Good Morning so the couple could move to Sydney, but he insists, “I was so incredibly proud and overwhelmingly excited for Ruth, there was no question about me coming on board. Because of work, I’d been putting off going overseas for 15 years, anyway, so this was a great excuse to spread my wings.”
But just as Ruth, 32, and her husband-to-be, 34, were preparing to start a new life across the ditch together, it was Matt’s turn to score his own dream job, as the New Zealand-based travel presenter for TV One’s new lifestyle show Kiwi Living.
It was a career coup for the popular telly star, but it meant Ruth had to move to Australia and start house-hunting by herself, while still working long hours in the Sydney newsroom. And for the last five months, it’s seen Matt flying back and forth across the Tasman, keeping him separated from his fiancée for weeks at a time.
“I’ve got no worry about leaving Ruth by herself as she’s such a strong, independent person – I know she’s not going to be crying into her cup of tea every night,” says Matt. “But I’m a bit of a wuss and, to be honest, I find all the time apart really hard.”
“You’re not a wuss!” laughs Ruth. “I’m not a big crier, but I do find it rough dropping him at the airport. It’s really hard when he goes. However, on the other hand, I’m really aware that this shift to Australia was all about me and while I’m lucky to have such a supportive guy who backs me 100 percent, I don’t ever want to take advantage of that.
“Matt was leaving an established career and a good reputation in New Zealand, and it was really important for me that Matt was looked after in this whole process, so when this Kiwi Living gig came up, it was the answer to a lot of the things I was worried about.”
As the couple chat with Woman’s Day over “feesh and cheeps” on the beach at Camp Cove on the edge of Sydney Harbour, it’s clear that despite the difficulties, this sea-change has really reinvigorated their relationship, with the couple making an extra effort to explore Sydney when they're together.
The pair, who got engaged in November 2013, are looking forward to spending more time together when filming for Kiwi Living finishes, although they both have their fingers crossed for a second season.
In the meantime, plans for their much-delayed wedding are slowly taking shape. Ruth smiles, “We’ve moved countries, found a new house, been exploring a new city and been working our butts off, so it hasn’t been at the top of our list, but we’re talking about it. It’ll happen. Stay tuned!”
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