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Featuring the voices of local writers, we write daily about life in Canberra – from ‘what’s on’ to reviews of places to eat; social commentary to health and fitness; beauty and nutrition to books and movies; fashion and motherhood to recipes and home style; if it’s part of ‘her’ life you’ll find it on HerCanberra.
If you want to know who’s behind it, well that would be me. I’m Amanda Whitley – I spent the first 15-or-so years of my career working across the communications industry— everything from presenting the tv news to running major events and developing culture across Government departments.
The HerCanberra story
I often get asked where the idea for HerCanberra came from. In a nutshell, it was a combination of a number of things coming together. The first was the premature birth of my youngest daughter, Sophia, which turned my world upside down. At 30 weeks and just 1.4kg, she was born with some big lung problems and came home from hospital 10 weeks later with chronic lung disease. Essentially, her condition meant that she would be unable to attend childcare for two years—which brought my career as an executive in the Australian Public Service to a screeching halt.
I found myself isolated and lonely, as I was mostly housebound caring for an unwell child and her big sister, who was two at the time. And then I discovered the capacity of the internet to connect people. I came across Mia Freedman’s MamaMia – then a teeny, tiny little blog with a handful of regular commenters. We formed a loyal little community, which spilled over onto Twitter, and within a few months I’d struck up a friendship with Mia herself. Not too long afterwards, she asked if I’d be part of a small voluntary team of contributors – alongside Lana Hirschowitz (who went on to become Managing Editor of MM and then iVillage) and Kerri Sackville (now a well-known author and blogger).
For about a year, I helped out with articles but mostly I moderated conversations and comments. Until it wore me down…there are only so many times you can referee arguments over childcare and birth choices and kids parties and… I decided there had to be more to life than outrage. And so I stepped back from the online world and into ‘real life’…and discovered there was a huge information gap when it came to things to do in Canberra for my demographic. And so the seed was sown.
An idea started to form about a multi-contributor website which would showcase the talents of local Canberra women and focus on ‘life’ in Canberra. Not hard news, not big nights out, but the stories that would encourage people to see just how much this city has to offer. And so HerCanberra was born…that was in January 2011 and in the last month we’ve attracted around 125K monthly readers. Crazy…
We’re growing pretty quickly. Here’s a quick guide to who’s who in the zoo:
Amanda Whitley – Head Chick.
Emma Macdonald – Associate Editor.
Belinda Neame – Production Manager.
Laura Peppas – Senior Journalist and Account Manager.
Katie Radojkovic – Graphic Designer.
Beatrice Smith – Online Editor.
Ashleigh Went – Client Relationship Manager and ACTIVE Editor.
Molly McLaughlin – Editorial Coordinator.
No less important is our extended HerCanberra Team—about 40 wonderful Canberra women who contribute their time and wit in their various areas of expertise, either on a regular or ‘when-I-have-something-to-say’ basis. We have social commentators, culinary whizzes, home and style gurus, fashion magicians, a beauty and make up genius, health and fitness experts, a movie buff, a voracious book reader and reviewer, a business and technology expert..and so many more! And they’re all amazingly talented local women. Learn more about them by reading the bios under each of their posts.
HerCanberra would not be possible without these women—they write because they love it, because they’re passionate about their city, and because they believe in what we’re building. I love them hugely.
Join the conversation
As well as the website, we have a social media community of over 70 000 people…so please feel free to join the conversation there!
Welcome to the HerCanberra community!