Letter From The Editor: Cheers To Our First Year At Refinery29 Australia!

Today marks Refinery29 Australia's first birthday! The past 12 months have been incredible and at times, tough, but I've never believed in anything so much and I'm really proud of what we've accomplished for the millions of you that have read our stories. Thank you from the bottom of my heart — we couldn't have done it without you.
For most of us, the last year has been at least a bit less tumultuous than the year before, but it's still been a wild ride. Women and gender-diverse people across Australia congregated for the second March4Justice rallies, and again in solidarity with abortion rights protesters in the United States. Parts of Australia were ravaged by 'once in a lifetime' floods (multiple times) which devastated communities. But there was also good news. We said goodbye (and good riddance) to ScoMo, ushering in a new Prime Minister and more women in parliament than Australia has ever seen. We also had our most diverse Australian Fashion Week yet, with its first curve and adaptive fashion runways, both of which were long overdue.
In the last year, we brought two of Refinery29's most beloved series, Money Diaries, the original financial confessional, and Sweet Digs, a video series showcasing people's homes, to Australia. We also created a local street style series called Street View, showcasing the best IRL outfit inspo across the country. We also doubled down our reporting on Fired Up, our vertical that shines a spotlight on gendered violence in Australia. (If some of these are new to you, you can stay in the loop on everything that’s going on here by signing up for our newsletter, or following us on Instagram and Facebook!)
But when we launched Refinery29 Australia (in lockdown) last July, we knew that we wanted to tell the local stories that matter to Australian women and underrepresented people. We've reported on everything from The Great Resignation to what the 'death' of skinny jeans means to fat women, the 'photo dump' trend on Instagram and representation on Aussie reality TV — and even how much you should contribute to a wedding wishing well. Many of you shared your stories, too — it's hard to pick favourites but here are a few that stayed with me. Sukriti Wahi wrote a powerful piece about everyone wanting women of colour on their teams but failing to actually give them a voice. Carly Findlay shared her experience of what it's like to be a disabled person on the Internet, which made me both sad and angry.
I'm immensely grateful for the Refinery29 Australia team and our network of contributors, whose stories have made us laugh, cry, start important conversations and learn something new. But none of it would be possible without you, our loyal readers. Thank you for being part of our community — for reading, sharing and commenting on our stories, and for being part of our first year. We couldn't have done it without your love and support.
This is just the beginning for Refinery29 Australia, and I couldn't be more excited about what the future holds.
I truly believe the best is yet to come.
Zahra Campbell-Avenell
Head of Editorial, Refinery29 Australia

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