What does the 200th anniversary of The Guardian (and Guardian Australia's 8th anniversary) mean to you, and how did your team celebrate this milestone?
We celebrated with cake and champagne and a video chat between me in our Sydney newsroom and the global Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner in London. Kath was also the first Editor of Guardian Australia, so I think it was a nice way for her to start her 200th
birthday engagements. It seems a bit strange being the eight-year-old offshoot of a 200-year-old institution, but what makes me proudest is that we have brought the Guardian’s values and editorial purpose into the new Australian operation.
How has Guardian Australia's coverage and audience evolved since it launched in May 2013?
Well the audience has certainly become much bigger - about 7 million Australians read us each month. Our coverage has broadened. At the start we were so small we had to concentrate on a few areas where we thought we could make a difference, like politics, environment reporting, asylum policy and Indigenous issues. We still do, but now we also do more lifestyle and culture, in a meaningful Guardian way of course, and we have time to have a bit more fun, for example with our “Explain it to me Quickly” format, or the fabulous Saved For Later email from our Culture Editor Steph Harmon and Lifestyle Editor Alyx Gorman. We are also expanding our podcasting and video teams.
You recently wrote a piece, reflecting on the 200th anniversary of The Guardian, where you said "The Australian discourse is broader and deeper and sharper because we are here". What sets the Guardian Australia apart from other news outlets in the Australian media landscape?
I think we are more prepared to follow the facts wherever they take us. We are not concerned about making enemies or copping criticism if we are following our editorial objectives. Being lauded and criticised equally by all “sides” in a debate does not always equate to “balance”. Balance lies wherever factual reporting takes us, and if you take the example of the climate crisis, following the facts has meant we are regularly critical of the government’s policy position. That does not equate to partisanship on our part, it is what doing our job looks like in these times.
What has been the most memorable moment for you during your time as Editor of Guardian Australia?
I am currently overseeing our second big expansion. Creating a newsroom big and strong enough to have a real influence in Australia is an enormous opportunity.