My, oh, my, how quickly things change.
As I write this, almost every person in Australia is somehow affected by a Covid-19 lockdown. Many have been forced out of work, while others — particularly those on the front line— have been forced to work harder than anyone should have to. I suspect Dry July hasn’t been very dry for many of us.
As for putting together a magazine, it hasn’t been easy. When we started working on this Impact issue, locally acquired Covid-19 cases were few and far between and there was talk of post-pandemic life. Then the Delta variant took hold and everything changed. On a practical level, the team had to rethink photoshoots and put travel plans on hold. On a personal level, as the weeks rolled on and my family withdrew from the world beyond our front door, I found myself seeking out more personal, reflective stories for the issue — pieces that look inward rather than out.
My vision for T Australia has always been twofold: I want to showcase the best of Australia within a global context, while also providing a record of the local zeitgeist. I’m so proud of this Impact issue, not only because of the hurdles the team has overcome, but because it really does capture this unusual moment in time — a period in which every one of us has been forced to take stock and consider the impact we have on those around us.
One of my favourite stories in this issue is “Life in Exile” by the travel writer Lance Richardson. Though Lance grew up in the Hunter Valley, he’s seen out the pandemic in the United States, where he lives with his husband. Unable to return “home” to Australia, Lance questions what home means for those who choose to leave their country of birth — a conflict that will be familiar to any expat reading this, I’m sure.
Our cover star, Margot Robbie, is in a similar predicament, having been kept from Australia for almost two years. In a candid interview, she speaks about growing up on the Gold Coast, and how she came to see David Fincher’s “Fight Club” at an entirely inappropriate age. Since then, she’s made her mark in Hollywood, becoming a significant player in the production industry and championing the work of female creatives.
Also making an impact is Bri Lee, whose first book, “Eggshell Skull”, played a key role in the local #MeToo movement. I’m in awe of this brilliant 29-year-old, who writes with conviction and vulnerability. I’m thrilled to announce Lee will be a regular contributor to T Australia, starting with Issue 4.
Other highlights include “Architects of Desire”, in which Victoria Pearson looks at the challenges of crafting a legacy brand in the digital age, and “King Fish”, in which David Matthews gets to know Narito Ishii, the Sydney fish handler with a cult following. Our restaurant reviewer, Besha Rodell, who’s been dining at home a lot of late, shares her thoughts on spreads inspired by that impactful toast-topper, Vegemite.
One day soon, we’ll look back at this time with knowing nods, teary eyes and many stories. Until then, I hope you find some comfort and a few laughs in the pages that follow.
Katarina Kroslakova — Publisher, Editor-in-Chief