Kirsten has visited and written about some of the most exotic places in the world. But when it came to choosing where to live, Hobart is home.
There are few career posts that afford more exotic travel invites. As Editor-in-Chief of QANTAS Magazine and Travel Insider, Kirsten Galliott’s inbox brims with offers that have taken her from ancient Egypt to the Galápagos Islands. But as she sits in a South Hobart café, there’s only one place she wants to be. With her Mum, in Tasmania.
Kirsten’s bio reads like an incredible storybook that could be mistaken for the lives of five successful career women. As Head of Content, Travel and Luxury at Medium Rare Content Agency, she has overseen content across Qantas, Jetstar and Visit Canberra. As Editor-in-Chief of QANTAS Magazine and Travel Insider, she is responsible for all content, including the monthly magazine and website, QantasLink’s regional title, Spirit, two Chinese editions a year, social media and video content. Sound exhausting? The mother of two is preparing to completely overhaul QANTAS Magazine in preparation for it going back on planes. But now, she’s doing it from Hobart versus Sydney’s bustling Balmain.
“Qantas has been amazing to work with since COVID-19 hit. When the planes were grounded, we quickly switched to a model where we sent 40 thousand copies of the magazine directly to our top frequent flyers. We’re one of the only inflight magazines globally to have continued publishing all the way through COVID,” explains Kirsten. “Ironically, without COVID, I wouldn’t be here in Tasmania. There’s no way I could have kept my Sydney job before this. To be able to work remotely from Tasmania has been life changing.”
Why Tasmania? Kirsten’s parents moved to the island 30 years ago and in recent years, the temptation to follow grew stronger. In late 2021, with COVID playing a pivotal role, the family of four took the plunge. Kirsten, her chef husband and two young daughters became Hobart locals.“There’s a good reason we’re seeing so many people from Melbourne and Sydney migrating here. It’s because Tasmania offers such an extraordinary lifestyle. Interestingly, all of my hardcore big city friends have been very envious of my move,” smiles Kirsten.
Back to that bio. Kirsten has rubbed shoulders in all the big cities. From 2016-2018 she was named Editor of the Year at Mumbrella’s Publish Awards (and has just been nominated again this year). Across two decades as a journalist, she’s been editor of InStyle and B magazines for Pacific Publications and the(sydney)magazine and Sunday Life for Fairfax Media (now Nine). She has also been the fashion editor for Sunrise on the Seven Network, consulted to the SBS television program TwentyFourSeven and been a regular reviewer for The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. She is an ambassador for Dress For Success Sydney, which empowers women to achieve financial independence. Kirsten has lived large and busy but has settled into the Tasmanian way of life effortlessly.
“I moved to be close to Mum,” says Kirsten, who lost her father in 2019. “We haven’t lived in the same city for more than 30 years so it’s just been wonderful. We go to the Farm Gate Market each Sunday and get a coffee, wander and pick up our veggies. It’s the quality time we’ve missed for years.”
Since arriving, the family have explored various corners of Tasmania, including both King and Flinders islands. Kirsten’s husband, Dirk, is an avid bushwalker and photographer, so trips up kunanyi / Mount Wellington have also become a family favourite, along with Street Eats @ Franko Market on Friday eves during the warmer months.
“I’m so happy we’re here. I wake up every morning and look at the mountain and marvel at how different it is every day. Our house also looks onto the River Derwent and all its changing moods. I love walking down to Long Beach every morning – today the light was extraordinary. I think it’s the small moments that make Tasmania so special. I love the air. It’s fresher and cleaner. The tourism campaign to ‘come down for air’ is spot on.”
When Kirsten is not strolling the sandy river shores, she’s inspiring others to travel. “What I love about my work is helping others to make the most of their travel. It’s such an intrinsic part of life. During COVID, we had a unique opportunity to open up Australian’s eyes to what we have here. People think they know Australia but many of them don’t. They head off overseas as soon as they have enough money to rub together and I think even for my own team, we have learned so much more about Australia over the last 18 months of creating domestic content.”
Sure, Kirsten misses her terraced Balmain home and the network of close friends attached to her Sydney life, but Tasmania is now home. “Only yesterday I was making a cup of tea and looking up at the mountain, feeling so lucky, when I friend called and asked me if I was in Hobart. She told me how lucky I was to be here, moments after I felt it myself. I just pinch myself.”
Are you interested in making a move? Make it Tasmania.
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For information on starting a business in Tasmania look through our stories or visit Business Tasmania.