Karen Tighe


Karen is an award-winning sports broadcaster and presenter from Australia who became a supporter of Encephalitis International after falling ill in March 2020.

Karen joined the ABC in 1989, and has loved her time with sports broadcasts on ABC TV and moving to join the Summer Grandstand team on ABC Radio in 1997.

Her career has covered many major sporting events, including ABC Radio’s coverage of the Sydney, Athens, Beijing and Rio Olympics and six Paralympic Games (Lillehammer, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Beijing and London) with ABC TV.

She was also part of the Friday night fun of ‘Live & Sweaty’ on ABC TV in the early 1990s and for six years presented sport on ABC TV’s 7pm weeknight news in Perth.

Karen was also the regular host of ABC TV’s annual coverage of the Hopman Cup tennis tournament from 1994 to 2010.

Her honours include Media Award Winner at the 2000 and 2001 Australian Sports Awards while, in 2020, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Australia Media Awards in Sydney.

Karen, who is married to former ABC sports commentator Glenn Mitchell with whom she has a son, James, became poorly with encephalitis in March, 2020.

During her recovery, she became an advocate for encephalitis awareness in Australia, sharing her experiences with the media for World Encephalitis Day.

Karen said: “I’m delighted to be an Ambassador of Encephalitis International. After returning home from hospital I will never forget what my wonderful colleague, ABC Perth Radio Breakfast presenter, the now late Russell Woolf did for me. After my illness was reported, a contact of his got in touch to say she had a colleague who had been through encephalitis and would be so happy to chat with me if I wanted at any time.

“A few weeks later, I did just that and through being able to talk with someone who could understand so much of what I was experiencing, we instantly formed a special friendship. Together, Rachael Schwarz and I are very much a team with a shared passion – to raise awareness of this condition among the general public and health professionals, ensuring that anyone who may fall ill in the future has access to the best treatment and the best after-care. That they are not alone”

Karen returned to her role as presenter on ABC Radio’s Summer Grandstand program in October 2021. Just in time for the Ashes!

Page Created: 15 November 2023
Last Modified: 29 November 2023
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