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Julia Woodlands Baird is an Australian political journalist, television commentator and writer from Sydney.

Julia Baird
Julia Woodlands Baird

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
EducationUniversity of Sydney
Years active1998–present
Parent(s)Bruce Baird
RelativesMike Baird (brother)


Early life and educationEdit

Baird was born in Sydney, the middle child of politician Bruce Baird and his wife Judith (née Woodlands). Her older brother, Mike, later became the Premier of New South Wales. The family lived in Rye, New York, in the 1970s while her father was Australian Trade Commissioner.[1][2] After they returned to Australia in 1980, Baird attended Ravenswood School for Girls.

Baird was awarded a PhD in history from the University of Sydney in 2001. Her thesis was on women in politics.[3] In 2005, she was a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University researching the globalisation of American opinion in the lead up to the Iraq War.[2][4][4] Baird was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on 16 March 2018 by the University of Divinity.[5]


Baird started her journalistic career with The Sydney Morning Herald in 1998.[3] By 2000, she was editor of the opinion pages.[6] She was a campaigner for women in the Sydney diocese of the Anglican church.[7] She also worked as a religious commentator for Triple J and as a freelancer for ABC Radio.[4] Her first book, Media Tarts: How the Australian Press Frames Female Politicians was published in 2004.[4]

In 2006, Baird became deputy editor at Newsweek in New York City, working there until it ceased print publication in 2012.[3] She also wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer[6] and The New York Times.[8] She has written about gender and politics, covering for example misogyny in Australian politics[9] and transgender soldiers in the American military.[10] More recently she has written about Donald Trump's political strategy.[11] Baird has also written about religious topics.[12]

In 2010, Baird signed a contract with Random House to write a biography of Queen Victoria.[3] She returned to Australia and hosts The Drum, a current affairs television show.[7][13]

Personal lifeEdit

Baird has two children.[6] In 2015, she revealed in a New York Times column that she was recovering from surgery for cancer.[14] In a press conference on 19 January 2017, her brother revealed that Baird's cancer has recurred.[15]


  • Baird, Julia (2004). Media Tarts: How the Australian Press Frames Female Politicians. Sydney: Scribe Publications Pty Ltd. ISBN 1920769234.
  • Baird, Julia (2016). Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire. Random House. ISBN 978-1400069880.


  1. ^ Wood, Stephanie (26 October 2012). "The son rises". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b Richard Fidler (21 November 2012). "Journalist Julia Baird was deputy editor of US magazine, Newsweek". Conversations (Podcast). ABC. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Overington, Caroline (11 October 2010). "Ten Questions: Julia Baird". The Australian. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "Columnist Julia Baird joins local ABC radio". 9 February 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Dr Julia Baird awarded the Doctor of Divinity". VOX: University of Divinity. 18 March 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Capper, Sarah (15 November 2012). "A Bonza Baird". Victorian Women's Trust. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b Coultan, Mark (3 September 2015). "Julia Baird reveals cancer-beating battle". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  8. ^ "News about Julia Baird, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times
  9. ^ Baird, Julia (5 July 2013). "In Australia, Misogyny Lives On". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  10. ^ Baird, Julia (1 February 2014). "The Courage of Transgender Soldiers". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  11. ^ Baird, Julia (7 May 2016). "Donald Trump up close: he thinks you will love him". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  12. ^ Baird, Julia (27 August 2012). "No Place for Spirited Women". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  13. ^ "The Drum". ABC Television. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  14. ^ Farrell, Paul (3 September 2015). "Journalist Julia Baird reveals cancer diagnosis that had her 'gripped with terror'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  15. ^ Burke, Liz (19 January 2017). "Family illnesses the reason behind Mike Baird's shock resignation". Retrieved 19 January 2017.

External linksEdit