Julia Gillard on the July 2010 cover
|Company||Bauer Media Group|
The Australian Women's Weekly, sometimes known as simply The Weekly, is an Australian monthly women's magazine published by Bauer Media Group in Sydney. For many years it was the number one magazine in Australia before being outsold by the Australian edition of the American publication Better Homes and Gardens in 2014. As of February 2019 , The Weekly has overtaken Better Homes and Gardens again, coming out on top as Australia's most read magazine. The magazine invested in the 2020 film I Am Woman about Helen Reddy, feminist icon and activist. Editor-in-chief Nicole Byers told Film Ink "Helen's story of adversity and triumph is nothing short of inspirational. The Weekly has been telling stories of iconic Australian women for more than 80 years and we're delighted to be supporting the film production".
The magazine was started in 1933 by Frank Packer as a weekly publication. The first editor was George Warnecke and the initial dummy was laid out by William Edwin Pidgeon who went on to do many famous covers over the next 25 years. It was to have two distinctive features: firstly it would be a newspaper with an element of topicality in all its features. Secondly it would be an attempt to appeal to all Australian women, regardless of class, and have a national focus. Wanting it to appeal to a mass audience, Warnecke hoped that it would be a material sign that Australia was coming out of the depression.
The Weekly celebrated its 50th anniversary of publication in June 1983 and its 75th anniversary in the October 2008 issue. PBL launched Women's Weekly versions in Singapore and Malaysia, in 1997 and 2000, respectively, which follow The Weekly style while containing largely local content.
In 2012 the parent company of the magazine, ACP Magazines, a subsidiary of Nine Entertainment, was acquired by Bauer Media Group. Audited circulation under Nene King was 980,000. The 60th anniversary edition sold in excess of one-million. Audited circulation in June 2013 was 459,175 copies monthly. Readership numbers for September 2014 were estimated to be 1,828,000.
The magazine is usually 240 pages long and printed on glossy paper trimmed to A4 page size, although it was originally a Tabloid in size and layout. It typically contains feature articles about the modern Australian woman. For many years, it included a lift-out TV guide.
In 1982, publication frequency was reduced from weekly to monthly. "Weekly" was retained in the name for reasons of familiarity and because a woman's "monthly" was a slang term for menstruation. The final weekly edition was dated 15 December 1982, followed by the first monthly edition dated January 1983. The TV guide was discontinued on introduction of the monthly format.
Previous editors of The Weekly have included Saide Parker, Alice Mabel Jackson, Deborah Thomas, Julia Zaetta, Ita Buttrose,Nene King, Jennifer Rowe and Robyn Foyster (December 2007 - October 2009).
The editor was Helen McCabe until January 2016, who has held this position since August 2009. She attempted to improve The Weekly news coverage. In late 2009, she hired Juliet Rieden as deputy editor (Rieden was later promoted to Editor) and Jordan Baker, formerly a reporter and travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald, as news editor. In February 2016 Kim Wilson was named as the editor of the magazine.
In July 2017, Nicole Byers was appointed Editor-in-Chief.
The Australian Women's Weekly Test Kitchen (then known as the Leila Howard Test Kitchen) was established just after World War I. From 1965, it continued to be on the same site of the Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) building (corner of Park and Castlereagh Streets) in Sydney. The Test Kitchen's first 'Best Ever' recipes compilation was published in 1976, collating the most-requested recipes from the issues of the Weekly. The cookbook sold out in days and had many reprints.
The Test Kitchen had a team of 16 people in 2006, composed of chefs, home economists, food editors and support staff.
In 2012, ACP was sold to Bauer Media Group. The Test Kitchen triple-tests recipes which are then published in the magazine, as well as Woman's Day and the AWW cookbooks. Surveys have shown that over 90 per cent of readers buy the magazine for the recipes.