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Kim Doherty shares insights into the latest Australian Women’s Weekly magazine

In her first Editor's letter, Kim Doherty (nee Wilson), says stepping into The Australian Women's Weekly feels like coming home.

Sitting in the Editor-in-Chief’s chair overlooking Sydney’s Hyde Park and the graceful spires of St Mary’s Cathedral, with the sound of ferry foghorns echoing from the harbour, I am penning my first editor’s letter for Australia’s biggest and most loved magazine.

Suddenly, I’m acutely aware of the incredible honour of this role and the responsibility of being the custodian of one of the great voices for Australian women.

But there’s something else, too. Amid the flurry of kind well-wishers, the excitement of joining the team, the eagerness to get on with the many plans ahead (and a generous dose of first-week nerves), I realise what that unexpected sense is: stepping into The Australian Women’s Weekly feels like coming home.

It’s not simply the decades of covers on the office walls that I recognise with affection, nor the faces of the many respected professionals on the team.

It’s not even the chair I’ve inherited, which has been graced by many great women before me (and judging by the ink stains, coffee shadows and loose screws, may also be a relic from a time when printing presses rattled the building from the basement).

It’s the sense that this is the place where Australian women share their stories, news, wisdom, successes, heartbreaks, laughs and challenges.

It’s not where the stories begin, of course – they start with you – but it’s where we listen to them and write them, and make them part of who we are as the women of Australia.

The stories we’ve grown up with, loved and been inspired by, the news and stories that celebrate our lives and chart our times have come from this place. And I truly believe that telling our stories matters.

The Weekly is more than a magazine. Calling it an institution makes it sound like there are Grecian columns in the foyer (there are not) and suggesting it’s an icon sounds like we’re all some sort of rock stars (no one who’s ever heard me sing would suggest such a thing).

But The Weekly– like every good Aussie, it’s earned an affectionate nickname – has been the voice of Australian women for generations.

My Melbourne-born grandmother would spend weekends over steaming vats stewing her famous jams, with recipes from The Weekly propped beside the stove.

My Perth-born mum loved the royal stories, particularly the glamour of Princess Grace, the wild ways of Princess Margaret and the fairytale-turned-tragedy of Diana.

My not-yet-two-year-old Sydneysider daughter browses the pictures (and I admit, uses the pile of issues, set aside for my nightly reading, as a step to clamber onto our bed).

And me? I love the stories that inspire, the ones that bring tears to my eyes, give me goosebumps and the energy to jump up and get a bit more out of this amazing life.

There are so many to be told.

In this issue – compiled largely before I started, by the brilliant team headed by our talented, newly promoted Editor, Juliet Rieden – I’m awed by The Australian Women’s Weekly/CPA Australia Women in Business winners, heartbroken by the Bowraville murders, and touched by the joy and honesty of the Dateables.

I am delighted that, along with Dilmah and APT, we’re supporting the Australian Red Cross in our upcoming High Tea Tour and heartened by the courage of our cover star, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who finally has hopeful news to share about her lovely husband, John.

The last time I did a story with Kerri-Anne, she called me to share her breast cancer diagnosis and I see now, as I did then, her bright smile and brave spirit shining through.

If you have a story that should be told, from any corner of Australia or the world, I’d love to hear from you.

We promise to tell them with the quality of journalism you expect from The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Finally, I just want to say thank you.

It is an honour to be the Editor-in-Chief of your magazine and the custodian of this extraordinary voice.

Welcome home and thanks for being here with us.

The July issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, is on sale now.

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