Luke's decision to return to Australian Survivor wasn't easy. His daughter Madeline was just six weeks old at the time and had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
"It was a rough time," Luke, 33, tells TV WEEK. "The timing couldn't have been any worse."
Luke's little girl had to undergo surgery while he was away, which made it even harder being away from home. And while it was a tough choice to make, Luke knew that if he won the show, the $500,000 prize money would be life-changing for his family.
"It would secure the family's future," he says. "That's why I'm doing it."
Luke's wife Mary says she supported him giving Australian Survivor another shot, despite the difficult time at home.
"It would mean everything to us to win," she says. "Not only is Luke an amazing player of the game, but he's so deserving of the title Sole Survivor. With him gone during such a crucial time in our lives would mean that it didn't happen in vain.
"He knows this game extremely well. But what makes him the best is the personality he brings to the show – he lifts everyone's mood, doesn't take things too seriously and puts a smile on everyone's face."
Luke, who's also dad to Lennox, seven, and five-year-old Nate, says spending time with his young children is his priority – and a focus for life in the wake of Survivor, whether he ends up winning the reality show or not.
"That's why I got out of mining, so I could come home after work every day," he explains. "I want to be a present father. Me being away takes its toll on the kids."
Australian Survivor: Champions vs Contenders airs Monday and Sunday, 7.30pm, on 10.