Author, Former Broadcaster, Journalist, Keynote Speaker & MC
Juanita Phillips is one of Australia’s best-loved and former experienced news presenters, and an accomplished MC and speaker.
For 21 years, she had anchored the ABC’s flagship 7pm News in Sydney, making her the public broadcaster’s longest-serving prime-time female TV news presenter. She resigned from the ABC in 2023.
Before this, she anchored CNN’s morning news and business show in London for five years, and was one of the first Australians to present TV news on the BBC. She has also worked for Channel Ten and Sky News, and has been a columnist and feature writer for The Bulletin magazine, News Corporation and Fairfax. She has written a series of children’s books The Newspaper Kids, and is the author of a best-selling memoir about juggling work and motherhood, A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life.
For the past 10 years, Juanita has used her interviewing and presenting skills to work as an MC, speaker and panel moderator. She specialises in business, fintech and cyber security, but has a wide range of both business and government clients, including the mining and banking industries, local and state governments, and the finance and technology sector. She is sought-after for her skill in interviewing keynote speakers, and facilitating panel discussions. Juanita is known for her entertaining and insightful interviews with thought leaders including Erin Brokovich, Steve Wozniak, John Howard, Julia Gillard and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. She’s also known for keeping complex conferences running to time – a skill she attributes to decades of meeting newsroom deadlines!
Juanita’s areas of interest and expertise include cyber security, tech innovation, politics, economics, leadership and gender equality.
More about Juanita Phillips:
Juanita began her career as a cadet journalist on The Courier-Mail in Brisbane in 1982, straight from high school. Returning home after backpacking around the world for three years, became a senior feature writer and columnist for The Courier-Mail.
In 1990, Juanita was offered a job as current affairs journalist at Channel Ten where she stayed for six years, eventually moving to Sydney to become co-anchor of the Five O’Clock News. She then moved to Sky News – Australia’s first cable news service – as its senior presenter. When Sky debuted in 1996, Juanita was the first newsreader on air, welcoming Australians to a whole new era of 24-hour news.
In 1997, she headed to London hoping to break into international television and became the anchor of BBC World’s flagship morning program The World Today, broadcasting to millions of viewers worldwide. On her second day in the job, Princess Diana was killed in a car accident, and Juanita was part of the BBC’s international coverage, packaging news reports for world-wide syndication. A week later, she co-anchored BBC World’s coverage of Diana’s funeral.
Juanita moved on to the American cable news network CNN, anchoring their flagship breakfast program CNN Today in London. She became their senior London anchor and in 1999, was chosen as one of only two non-American anchors presenting CNN’s Millennium celebrations, the largest live news event ever attempted with one hundred hours non-stop live rolling coverage. Following the September 11 attacks on the United States, Juanita returned to Australia.
Juanita Phillips is also the author of a series of children’s books, The Newspaper Kids, aimed at ages 7 to 12, and has written extensively for newspapers and magazines, including the “Lunch With …” column for the prestigious Bulletin magazine.
In 2010, she wrote the best-selling memoir “A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life – how to have it all, do it all and keep it all together” which tells the story of her own struggle to balance a busy career with family life, and offers practical solutions for other working parents. Her experience as an older first-time mother forms a chapter in the book Late Babies (by Sandra Maclean) and she has spoken extensively on the subjects of motherhood, career, writing and personal growth.
Juanita Phillips talks about:
Juanita Phillips’ keynote presentations are tailored to be relevant and insightful for women of all ages and at all stages of their careers. Drawing on personal anecdotes from over 40 years in the workforce, she discusses the challenges women routinely face (pregnancy, childbirth, divorce, elderly parents, health crises and more), how much things have changed for women, and how much has stayed the same.
Juanita speaks about the hurdles women and other carers face as they develop in their professional careers, how corporate culture can be changed to embrace women and how men can be convinced to move forward with women and enjoy the benefits that come from a fairer, more flexible workplace.
Importantly, Juanita discusses how to juggle differing workloads and personal responsibilities, maintain good mental and physical health, plan and manage their financial future and support each other through formal mentoring arrangements, but more commonly support just through sharing our stories and the wisdom we’ve acquired along the as well as sharing stories and wisdom.