Katharine Viner, deputy editor of the Guardian, will be the launch editor of the Australian operation. Paul Chadwick, the outgoing director of editorial policies at the ABC, will become a non-executive director of the Guardian's Australian entity. Graeme Wood, the entrepreneur founder of travel website 'wotif' and chair of the news and features website The Global Mail, will be a founding investor.
The launch, to take place in 2013, is a natural next step for the Guardian, which, with a global digital audience of 39 million unique users per month, is the third largest newspaper website in the world. 1.3 million of the Guardian's unique users are based in Australia, making it the Guardian's fourth largest market*.
Katharine Viner said: "This is such an exciting time to be launching the Guardian in Australia. We already have a large number of Australian readers, who tell us they want more of our on-the-ground reporting, lively commentary and groundbreaking open journalism. We will build a small Australian team to cover the issues that really matter to the nation and connect our Australian readers to the Guardian's global network of correspondents and commentators."
Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media, said: "As a global media organization with a history of growth and ambition, this is a natural next step for Guardian journalism. Our Australian digital edition will not only offer our unique take on Australia, a significant nation both regionally and globally, but will also serve as a base for reporting on, and engaging with, people across Asia.
"It will be of real benefit to our global audience, to see how dominant questions of our time - economics, geopolitics, climate change, immigration, media, democracy and more - are being grasped in such an important part of the world. The digital age has enabled the Guardian to be read by millions around the world and have an impact far beyond the dreams of those who launched the paper in Manchester, England in 1821."
In addition to the founding relationship with Wood, the Guardian will seek to build both editorial and further commercial partnerships in developing its Australian presence. However, Wood and any future commercial partners will naturally have no say in editorial matters, reflecting the principles established by The Scott Trust Ltd.
Wood said: "I'm delighted to support the Guardian's expansion in Australia. It will add quality and diversity to our media as well as fostering a closer interaction between Australians and the rest of the world. Its award-winning digital innovation will also enrich the broader media and technology sector."
Before his role at the ABC, Paul Chadwick, worked as a journalist, lawyer and statutory office holder, receiving a Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. He said: "I welcome the contribution to media diversity that the Australian operation of the Guardian will make. The Guardian, with its long and distinguished tradition of editorial independence and valuable investigations, is a leading innovator in digital news and information. Its decision to commit to Australia is cause for optimism that quality journalism will continue to fulfil its democratic function in this era of rapid media change."