At the start of 1975, Hamish McDonald had spent six years on the Sydney Morning Herald, and with the proceeds of sale of his Volkswagen and some acrued holiday pay, set off for Jakarta as a freelancer. The crisis in Portuguese Timor, the near collapse of the state oil firm Pertamina, and political issues kept him busy and launched his career as a foreign correspondent. This has taken him on to Tokyo, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Beijing, as well as stints back at the SMH as foreign editor and Asia-Pacific editor. He’s written two books on Indonesia, Suharto’s Indonesia in 1980, and Demokrasi: Indonesia in the 21St Century this year, as well as books on Indian and Japanese subjects and the joint investigation with Desmond Ball titled Death in Balibo, Lies in Canberra. He is now world editor with The Saturday Paper and Journalist-in-Residence at the ANU’s College of Asia & the Pacific.
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
Who do you work for?
The Saturday Paper and the ANU
Tell us a bit about you – how did you get to where you are today?
40 yrs with SMH and FEER
What are your career highlights?
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
Which other storytellers do you admire?
John Hersey, Murray Sayle, Jon Lee Anderson
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
Reporting in Indonesia