Deborah Thomas

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Deborah Thomas

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Biography

Deborah Thomas is Editorial Director of The Australian Women's Weekly, the iconic magazine that boasts the highest readership in Australian publishing and, per capita, in the world.

She has been at the helm of 'The Weekly' - now in its 75th year - for nine years. Kerry Packer appointed her Editor in 1999 before promoting her to Editor-in Chief in 2000 and Editorial Director in 2005.

Deborah Thomas moved into publishing in 1987 following a full-time modelling career in Europe and experience working in television production and advertising.

Her break into magazines came via her good friend Lisa Wilkinson - then editor of Cleo and now co-host of the Nine Network's Today Show - who offered her the position of Beauty and Lifestyle editor of the magazine. Three years later Deborah was promoted to Deputy Editor of Cleo. During her time at Cleo, supporting Lisa, the magazine's circulation broke all records, further strengthening its position as the No. 1 selling lifestyle publication (per capita) in the world.

In 1992, Deborah was appointed editor of Mode. Over the next two years, Mode's sales grew 25 percent and advertising revenue 33 percent. Two years later (1994) Deborah became editor of ELLE Australia and consolidated the magazine's position through a frenzied period of rival magazine launches.

In 1997 is was back to Cleo - this time as editor with a brief to arrest and revive the magazine's falling circulation and advertising revenue, which was achieved in spite of emerging competitive brands.

Her appointment as editor of The Australian Women's Weekly came in 1999. Her brief: to make the magazine more contemporary without alienating traditional readers. In July 2001, The Australian Women's Weekly announced its first circulation increase in four years. The following year, it scooped the pool at the Magazine Publisher's of Australia Awards ( the magazine equivalent of the Oscars). The awards included Magazine of the Year 2002, General Excellence ( News and General Interest), as well as two advertising awards. Deborah Thomas received the highest accolade, Editor of the Year.

In March 2004, Deborah was appointed Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Women's Weekly magazine and the Australian Women's Weekly books division and one year later was promoted to Editorial Director responsible for all aspects of this iconic brand.

Outside work, Deborah Thomas is a wife and mother to five-year-old Oscar. She's currently writing her autobiography for Pan McMillan and is a much sought after speaker on many topics her extraordinary life, women's issues, the media, marketing to women, older mothers and juggling a career with motherhood.

She appears regularly on the Today Show, A Current Affair and Radio 2UE and is considered an intelligent and informed commentator on many subjects for radio and newspapers. She is actively involved in community fundraising projects including the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, the YWCA, the Starlight Foundation and the Taronga Zoo Foundation.

Deborah is also a board member of The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, The Queensland Food Fibre and Science Innovation Council and a councilor of The National Library of Australia. For three years she was a member of the Walkley Foundation Advisory Board, the caretakers of the most prestigious awards in news journalism.

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