Industry Profile: Culinary queen and editor-in-chief, Donna Hay

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 7 September 2016
Donna Hay

Our Industry Insights Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry. 

In our last industry profile we met Mamamia MD Kylie Rogers, today we head to Surry Hills to speak to Donna Hay as her magazine turns 15. 

Duration in current role/time at the company:

22 years.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

We specialise in creating world-class premium food content for both print and digital (across books, magazines, video, social and online), in combination with a high-quality retail offering that includes homewares, cooking ware, baking mixes and more.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Creativity, quick decisions, pace, leadership, attention to detail and creating office havoc and amusement.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

This week we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of donna hay magazine, which I am incredibly proud of. We have put together a very special issue which is on sale now, and will be celebrating with some of our key partners and supporters. Plus my latest eight part series for Foxtel Lifestyle Food – “Basics to Brilliance” with its enormous accompanying cookbook which launches in a few weeks.

Collector's edition cover celebrating 15 years

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Being able to be creative and do something different every single day.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

I have always worked freelance or for myself however I did have a brief stint at the Australian Women’s Weekly test kitchen and then a few years as the freelance food director at Marie Claire before starting my own brand.

Last year Donna Hay was inducted into AdNews Australian Magazine Awards Hall of Fame

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

Doing exactly this.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

What is she going to do next?????

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you:

I work very closely with my team so there are few secrets between us.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

I don’t really do business lunches. I prefer breakfast – somewhere like Fratelli Paradiso in Potts Point.

My must-have gadget is:

An old school pencil and notebook, my iPhone and my bluetooth headphones for running tunes.

My favourite media is:


My favourite TV show is:

Game of Thrones, The Fall and House of Cards.

The last book I read:

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

My mantra / philosophy is:

Where there’s a will ……. There’s a way.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

Sailing around the world? Travelling.

In five years' time I'll be:

I’m not big on making long term plans so I have absolutely no idea.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

Coffee and ice cream.

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