When they are together, the couple say that morning walks and coffee together have become their “sacred time”. “That morning walk and coffee has been instrumental for us,” explains Mills, 41, who shot to fame 20 years ago on the first season of Australian Idol.
“There’s no distractions, we don’t take phone calls – not all the time – it’s a good way to reconnect, to check in, to talk about the day ahead.”
While their ability to make each other laugh says a lot about their relationship, it’s the way that they look at each other that shows everyone around them just how in love they are. They’ve been together now for more than five years and got engaged in December 2021, having met in a most modern way – with Mills sending Tunny a DM on Instagram.
“I had been single for a little while and been on some horrific dates,” tells Mills. “I was watching the television one morning and saw this very charming, smart, funny, beautiful, woman talking about sport so I quickly Googled ‘Who is the ABC sports girl on News Breakfast’ [where Tunny was working at the time] and found out it was Georgie Tunny. I looked on Facebook and saw we had a mutual friend who happened to be Abbey Gelmi, who Georgie does her podcast with … so I thought that I had an in there.”
“So I wrote to her that I was just putting it out there that I knew what it was like to be new in a new city – ‘You look like someone nice and I’m also someone nice, would you like me to take you out for coffee and to the best places in Melbourne?’ That was kind of the vibe. And also, ‘I promise I’m not a wierdo we have mutual friends.’”
“It was an Instagram message and it was left ‘seen’ but not responded to for a couple of days. I just thought, ‘That’s OK, she’s clearly seeing somebody’ but it turns out that she wasn’t – just very busy… and has no game… at all.”
More laughter. Tunny says that they had a “little bit of banter back and forth but the ball was in my court to set up a date and I just never did because I’m useless at those situations and I was genuinely very busy”.
After about three months, Mills tried again, inviting her to a Harry Potter spoof Puffs that he was starring in. There they met for the first time, he took her for a tour backstage and they had a “little kiss”.
“We’ve been together ever since,” says Tunny. “I thought that it was going to be a fun time, not necessarily a long time, you know, just a bit of fun. And then very fast, within the first three dates, I knew he was the loveliest person that I’d ever met. And then I knew that I was in trouble. I was just gone. Gone.
They credit falling for each other so fast to the fact that due to their unusual working hours, most of their courting period took place in the mornings and brunches so it was all “sober dating”.
“That was key for both of us and why we fell for each other so quickly. There was just zero pretence from either of us,” Tunny says. Since the very beginning of their romance, the loved-up couple have always acknowledged just how much they complement each other.
She’s the sports journalist, and Mills is a sports fanatic. He’s the musical theatre star but Tunny is just as likely to break out into song. This unique yin and yang aspect to their relationship inspired Tunny to create a custom ring for Mills with the word “seesaw” cleverly engraved on the inside. “We balance each other out,” says Mills.
The down-to-earth couple got engaged in December 2021, with Mills popping the question unexpectedly as they drove up to Sydney. “It was a complete surprise,” smiles Tunny. “An automatic yes but a complete surprise.”
But as they edge closer towards the two-year anniversary of that special day, they both admit that wedding bells are unlikely to be ringing any time soon. It seems that another thing they’re not good at is planning.
“No date, no location, no guest list, not a thing,” reveals Mills. “It will happen. Planning is not our best strength. We are both good at living in the moment.”