|Pinterest: best image suite of 2011? Postbox by Amber Carrillo|
The year started out with a flood that consumed our minds and the homes of many Queenslanders, with Liz Burke (of 'The Burke Report'), Lucy Brook and Ellen-Maree Elliot rounding out their time on Girl With a Satchel with reflective posts on the state they call home and SES worker Kim Buntrock taking the time to sit and tell us of her experience.
While Penny Williams was appointed Australia's Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, we were all about elucidating the vision Jesus Christ had for women (and over here, too) and basking in his beautiful vision.
While we dabbled in Satchelnomics as we watched Europe's economy slump and retailers weather a turn in shopping affairs, Emma Plant (with her wry and kindly pop-culture deconstructions and film reviews), Julia Low (with her Digital Gloss Files, handed over by Margaret Tran) and Teen Girl With a Satchel Georgie Carroll joined the crew.
Oh, and we travelled to America, too (thank you, Planet Blue!).
The theme this year was contemplating the life of Christ, re-ordering our priorities and thinking more thoughtfully. To that end, we penned essays on 'Showing Your Face' (makeup in the Amazon, anyone?), changing the status quo in a status update world, living with your irksome detestable self, well-being in the age of the iPhone, eschewing lists in favour of a life less orderly, and the evolution of a personal faith and its application in a professional sense.
No longer content to choose crap over Christ, as the world of media was rocked by the unsavoury journalism practises of News of the World, we asked, 'Is it time for a new media paradigm?'. We also thought about the responsibility of gate-keeping and the cruel war of online words.
While we eased right off on the glossy review front, we penned notes on Paper Giants, occasional Media Satchel updates (usurped by an edit of 'Arts, Culture & Media' news), as well as covers we liked, and thoughts on the rises and falls of circulation and readership.
We also asked whether Princess Kate and her wedding to William would save the gossip media from flailing, pondered what is to happen to sub-editing amidst budget cuts, highlighted some good mags for kids and wondered if the men's magazine genre was experiencing a renaissance of sorts.
Elsewhere, SBS Feast magazine launched as MasterChef came off the boil and The Sunday Mail gave us the new U On Sunday supplement, which we really like. Worth a read: Katrina Lawrence's excellent essay on the evolution of Allure magazine.
In the world of girls, where body image is still worryingly problematic, we asked, 'Is branding girls a good idea?', lamented a lack of positive female sports coverage, talked to Dr. Amy Slater about her research paper, and contemplated the role of new media websites and blogs, as well as organisations like the Girl Guides, in the edification of women and girls (we were privileged to discuss this at All Hallows school in Brisbane along with Rebecca Sparrow, who joined the Mamamia crew).
While Camilla Peffer asked, 'Are blogs for women counterproductive?', Wendy Harmer started The Hoopla with some other wonderful women and online wunderkind Katie May sold Kidspot to News Limited. Additionally, Fairfax launched its Women's Network, News Magazines rebranded, too, and we contributed some posts to JUSTB (sadly, we've since parted company, but we will be visiting!).
Though the numbers don't quite add up, it was a good year for women working in Australian media (Sarah Ferguson got the scoop de la scoop), and 2012 looks to be interesting on this front. We learnt that Monica Attard would be launching The Global Mail in early 2012 and Sarah Oakes will head up the Your Daily Life website for Fairfax. Elsewhere on the internet, we are regularly visiting Q Ideas for the common good, a website showcasing current Christian thought, and frequent filmmaker Elena Rossini's No Country For Young (or Old) Women.
Most of all, beyond the "issues", we enjoyed visiting new places (particularly those proferring food-like goods like this sweet haven in LA and this one in Newport) and meeting people (real, live ones!). We attended a Girlie High Tea flush with personality and humanity, and we had coffee with bossypants of beauty Zoe Foster (who has since become engaged to her beau Hamish Blake), lovely journalist Kaz Cooke, author Susan Duncan, Sue Bazzana of World Vision, evangelist/author/singer Aliki Flodine and radio presenter Emily Jade O'Keefe (who has since had a baby girl).
And isn't that a wonderful proposition to contemplate going into 2012: what kind of world we'd like to bring our girls up in; and what kind of legacy we can leave them.
How can media – and its consumption – better edify, encourage and inspire women and girls (and the boys, too) to make good choices; to pursue study, work, relationships, hobbies and interests that build them up for the long-term; to enjoy, love and thrive, not just survive; to help them exercise their God-given right to feel comfortable in their skin, confident in their abilities, strong in faith, hopeful for the future and better educated about the world? I'm in if you're in.
Girl With a Satchel