The Year That Was.
Was it crazy to launch a magazine in the midst of a global pandemic? Probably. Photo shoots have been arranged and rearranged, trips postponed, and restaurant reviews put on hold. But the challenges have resulted in some of my favourite stories and images that have appeared in the pages of T Australia over the past year, among them the portraits that accompany this issue’s special feature, “Tomorrow’s Heroes”. The shoot, comprising six exceptional advocates and innovators, spread across three states, each with their own Covid-19 restrictions, had to be done remotely via Zoom and FaceTime. But our ingenious portrait photographer, Kelly Geddes, was not deterred.
Kelly (the daughter of the beloved baby photographer Anne Geddes) had each one of her subjects wear the same white T-shirt (from the Australian label Nobody Denim) and after carefully composing each scene, she used a camera to capture the images on her computer screen. The files were then hand-printed from a digital enlarger and toned in a darkroom as silver gelatin prints. Timeless yet tactile, intimate yet remote, the result is a series of black-and- white images that trace the process from digital to analogue and back again.
The accompanying profiles, written by Jen Nurick, are equally captivating. There’s the dairy farmer Sallie Jones, who turned a family tragedy into a business that’s changing fortunes in her community. And the inventor Macinley Butson, who, at 16 years old, created a device to reduce radiation exposure during cancer treatment. Though the fields of our subjects differ, each is creating a legacy that will improve things for those who come after them.
This issue, we welcome the award-winning author Bri Lee to the T Australia team. She kicks off her debut column with a sobering piece on family planning (“Kids These Days”). It’s a thoughtful take on legacy, the theme of this issue, which weaves in and out of our feature stories. In some ways, legacy feels like an old-fashioned notion; it’s not often spoken of, perhaps because it means confronting our own passing. But given our culture’s fixation on the now, I think there is value in considering what we want for those who’ll pick up where we left off. Our cover star, the Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, is another young achiever. But at the age of 32, he’s had to confront the possibility that his legacy might not be a world title — that it might be something else entirely. I first met Dan in Melbourne after the Australian Grand Prix about seven years ago, while I was writing for the Financial Review. Cheeky and self-deprecating but also honest and determined, he opens himself up to our interviewer, Emma Pegrum, holding nothing back.
I’ve wanted his smile on the cover of T Australia since day one. But Dan’s a busy man and securing him for a shoot at the McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey, England, was a project 12 months in the making (to see just how charming the guy was on set, take a look at our behind-the-scenes video at taustralia.com.au). Emma was lucky enough to speak to Dan at the time of his win at the Italian Grand Prix — a much-needed triumph after a tough few years. As expected, he had a lot to say.
Publishing in a pandemic is no picnic but when confronted with restrictions, the T Australia team has come up with possibilities again and again — and for that, I’m immensely grateful. And to you, thank you. The support we have received from readers over the past year has been overwhelming. So much so, we’ve decided to ramp up production and we’ll be releasing the magazine every two months in 2022 (for even more T Australia, you can sign up to our newsletter). For now, though, we’ll be making the most of the silly season — as I hope you will, too.
Katarina Kroslakova — Publisher, Editor-in-Chief