Award-winning journalist and former Australian Defence Business Review managing editor Andrew McLaughlin has joined the Region team as a senior journalist covering defence and other public sector news.
After contributing to Region on a freelance basis over the past six months, Andrew has taken a full-time position to further bolster coverage of the sector.
A highly respected defence and aerospace journalist with 25 years’ experience, Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to the role.
“I was born and raised in Canberra, before moving to Sydney in 1991,” he says. “Interestingly, four of my last five jobs have been based in Canberra, including this one.
“I kind of fell into journalism. My previous career was in hospitality – I worked at the Lakeside International (now Q Hotel) in 1985, and Canberra International (now Pavilion on Northbourne) from 1986-88, before starting as concierge in the pre-opening and grand-opening team at the then new Hyatt Hotel Canberra in 1988.
“In the mid-90s I wanted to write a techno-thriller novel, but was finding it difficult to get a publisher. So I pitched a few article ideas to Australian Aviation magazine, which was then Canberra-based, and started writing freelance for them in 1997.
“In 2003 I went full-time, and in 2005 was part of a management buyout of the magazine. In 2012, I took an opportunity as a strategic communications advisor in the Department of Defence, and subsequently worked in a similar role in the defence industry.
“I returned to the media in 2017 as managing editor of Australian Defence Business Review until that magazine closed down in 2022.”
In 2005, Andrew published the book Hornets Down under to commemorate the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B’s 20th anniversary in the Royal Australian Air Force service.
In 2014, he co-authored Hornet Country, an update of the first book that included the F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler’s service entry.
“I have always liked aviation, and military aviation in particular, and interest in the rest of the defence domain just followed by extension,” he says.
“I’ve been fortunate to travel to Europe and the US on several occasions to visit various factories, trade shows, bases and events.”
Andrew has been recognised as the Australia and New Zealand Aviation Press Club’s Aviation Journalist of the Year on three occasions, and has won the Best Defence Story, Best Technical Story, or Best Feature Story categories seven times.
Andrew met his wife Jacqueline in 1992, and they have been married for 29 years this year.
They have a 26-year-old son who is a design engineer, and a 24-year-old daughter who works in asset finance.
“Both the kids left home in 2022, so my wife and I are adjusting to life as empty nesters,” he says.
“My main interests outside of work are baseball (I played for 30 years and coached/managed for 12 years, retiring in 2020).
“I also enjoy cooking, travel, photography, and aviation.”