Women In Media: It’s Barangaroo Comms Director Amanda Wilson

Women In Media: It’s Barangaroo Comms Director Amanda Wilson
SHARE
THIS



Today you’re in for a real Women In Media Treat. It’s none other than Amanda Wilson, a woman with a resume so long it’s hard not to be impressed. The former editor of The SMH is now the director community engagement and communications of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority. Here, Ms Wilson talks Sydney’s newest development, being expelled from school & her memoirs…

I thought becoming the first woman editor of Australia’s oldest media outlet, The Sydney Morning Herald, in 2011 was a huge achievement and hard to beat…
Then I left and started my own business, which is something I’m enormously proud of. Now I’m working on bringing Barangaroo (pictured below) to life – my first role working for government – and I think that’s a pretty big achievement too.

4667984-3x2-940x627

When I was appointed editor, people wanted to know how it felt to be the first woman to do the job in 180 years…
I said what felt to be true for me at the time – I didn’t think of myself as a woman. It got a lot of laughs. But the fact is until I became editor, I never thought of myself professionally in terms of gender. I was a journalist. Looking back, that says something about how women have had to think about themselves in order to succeed in media. Be one of the boys, or at least don’t be too “female”.

So last year I wrote an essay on being the first editor of The SMH, prompted by the sacking of the first woman editor of The New York Times. She started in her job six days after I started in mine. The theme was, ‘being a woman in media is tough’. Last year I worked with the Walkley Foundation, Tracey Spicer, Caroline Jones and a group of wonderful women to found Women in Media in NSW. It’s a networking and mentoring organisation and, believe me, it’s a really necessary organisation.

I was expelled from my convent school at the end of year 11…
Despite being a prefect and sports captain, the nuns said it was because I was a communist or an anarchist – they weren’t quite sure – but really it was because I tried to dispute the technical possibilities of the virgin birth with the reverend mother. It’s hard to recover from that.

Until recently, women have not had many female leadership role models…
The leadership role models were all men – and many of those were very old school. If you tried to always be tough and resilient that might have helped you get to the top, but actually it’s not a failure of leadership to be soft, to take off the tough mask and be yourself. Rather than define it, I prefer to think in terms of women’s leadership styles being different to those of men. Being authentic as a leader is vital. So is understanding that there are many different styles of leadership, and that to be good at it you have to try to master as many as you can.

At times I have felt like giving up…
And so I have done so. Or at least taken a long break. I think of a career as something you sustain over many years, and that also sustains you. The best way to do that is to step forward when you can and step back or out when you have to. That might mean stepping out to study, to raise a family, to write that novel, to get your health back. True success comes when you realise you don’t have all the answers and life is there to be lived.

I’ve always loved telling stories and been hugely curious about the world…
My father was an actor and one of my relatives ran a big ad agency. As a girl I wanted to find something in a creative industry – but not either of those! I found myself a job as a copy kid in a newspaper office and when I realised they paid you to write, I was hooked.

My ultimate career goal is…
To write the memoir I’ve been putting off for years.

If I wasn’t doing this particular job, I’d be…
Writing that book.

I would advise my 20-year-old self to find a mentor…
Or a couple of mentors. You don’t have all the answers – and you don’t have to do everything on your own.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Study: Aussie Brands Close The Gap Between Digital Experience & Customer Expectation
  • Marketing

Study: Aussie Brands Close The Gap Between Digital Experience & Customer Expectation

SAP Australia today launched its 2017 Australian Digital Experience Report, revealing that Australian businesses have significantly improved the digital experience they provide, closing the gap to what consumers expect. However, while performance has improved, consumers are still more likely to be unsatisfied with digital experiences than delighted by them.  The report, based on results from […]

Nuttelex Launches First Brand TVC Via Independent The Sanford Partnership
  • Campaigns

Nuttelex Launches First Brand TVC Via Independent The Sanford Partnership

Following a nation-wide qualitative and quantitative research study, independent creative agency The Sanford Partnership has produced a TVC for its client Nuttelex. The TVC has a nostalgic theme with a modern twist and highlights the brand’s healthy credentials. Nuttelex Food Products Pty Ltd started in a small factory in St Kilda in 1932. Now, the family […]

Yarra Trams & Icon Agency Introduce ‘Tram Coach’ For New Passenger Safety Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Yarra Trams & Icon Agency Introduce ‘Tram Coach’ For New Passenger Safety Campaign

Yarra Trams has appointed Icon Agency to deliver a new passenger safety campaign, following a competitive three-way pitch. The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of slips, trips and falls on trams via Melbourne’s latest safety ambassador, ‘Tram Coach’. Commencing today, Tram Coach will be travelling the Yarra Trams network throughout the week. His mission […]

The Red Republic Appoints New General Manager
  • Marketing

The Red Republic Appoints New General Manager

The Red Republic has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Mai Aristoteli (pictured above) as general manager. Aristoteli joins The Red Republic from Talk PR in London, where she has worked for nine years as a board director. The appointment of Aristoteli follows The Red Republic managing director Lynn Mooney’s relocation to head-up […]

PR Deadlines Inks Deal With GlobalCom PR Network
  • Marketing

PR Deadlines Inks Deal With GlobalCom PR Network

Sydney-based agency PR Deadlines has extended its global reach after inking a partnership agreement with the GlobalCom PR Network. The agreement gives PR Deadlines’ clients access to some 70 independent agencies covering all European Union states, as well as 60 more in countries worldwide. In turn, clients of affiliated agencies will have access to PR […]

Fintech Start-up InstaReM Names Aussie Cricketer Matthew Wade As Brand Ambassador
  • Marketing

Fintech Start-up InstaReM Names Aussie Cricketer Matthew Wade As Brand Ambassador

InstaReM, which offers international money transfers to individuals and businesses, has signed on Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as the sports face of the brand. InstaReM lists Australia as its founding market, having begun life here in 2014. Since the company’s modest start in Australia, InstaReM has since successfully spread its wings to other corridors by […]

Australia Is Diverse… Does Your Brand Have An Inclusive Digital Presence?
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Australia Is Diverse… Does Your Brand Have An Inclusive Digital Presence?

As Australia continues to grow and the population becomes more ethnically diverse, it is important that marketers ensure digital environments are more inclusive, especially for those who don’t speak English as a first language, writes Siteimprove’s Haley Doel (pictured below). Having a readable and accessible website is no longer just a high priority for large […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Pepsi MAX Teams Up With PHD & Time Out For New Data-driven Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Pepsi MAX Teams Up With PHD & Time Out For New Data-driven Campaign

Pepsi MAX has partnered with PHD and Time Out to not only inspire Australians, but also enhance their ability to ‘MAX’ out their summer this year. Through the use of a live dynamic data feed, consumers will be served ads by the brand on events taking place around them that are relevant to their personal […]

AI – To Join It Or To Beat It
  • Media
  • Opinion

AI – To Join It Or To Beat It

I'm afraid we can't let you read this piece Dave! That's a joke about A Space Odyssey 2001, young B&T readers.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AnalogFolk Opens In Shanghai
  • Advertising

AnalogFolk Opens In Shanghai

AnalogFolk has opened in Shanghai and, as B&T's trusty Funk & Wagnalls atlas tell us, is somewhere near Wollongong.