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By MIA FREEDMAN

This month has been epic. Yesterday, my beautiful sister in law gave birth to her much wanted twin sons. I was there shortly after they were born and it was an incredible privilege to sit with them and look into their teeny tiny faces.

And if that wasn’t enough, there are lots of worky things I need to tell you about. An ending and lots of beginings and new chapters.

OK, here we go.

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First the sad news. My beloved Lana Hirchowitz who has been my right hand on Mamamia for many years now (we met on Twitter! She was a reader! We hit it off! I love her!) and who successfully launched our parenting site iVillage.com.au last year, has decided it’s time to move on and do other things. SELFISH.

I’m kidding (not kidding!). She will always be a friend and I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for her loyalty, talent and incredible work ethic throughout the time we’ve worked together. She’s always had my back and me hers and it’s been a working relationship I’ll always treasure. (you can read my fave posts of hers from MM right here).

So changes. iVillage.com.au has a new editor, Alana House. We worked together in mags in the 90s, went to each other’s weddings and sort of fell out of touch as we both pursued other things until I became aware that she’d left print and started her own blog called House Goes Home when she decided on a big life change, away from office life.

I managed to persuade her back into the office and to steer the iVillage ship into 2013 and beyond. She’s already building on all the great work Lana did (they are frighteningly similar and bonded instantly) and if you haven’t already followed iVillage on Facebook, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

ivillage
Welcome to Alana House, iVillage’s new editor, goodbye to my beloved Lana and it’s a return to MM for Nicky Champ! Got that?

I’ve moved the iVillage team into the Mamamia editorial room and we’re all sandwiched in under one roof which is a bit exciting if a little squashy.

Joining Alana on iVillage this year are two new appointments. Kahla Preston was part of our intern program last year and immediately stood out because she’s really tall smart.

We employed her part-time on Mamamia at the start of this year straight out of uni and I’ve just promoted her to working full time on iVillage as a writer. She’s awesome.

Jo Abi is another new full time writer on iVillage and hers is a name you might be familiar with – I used to listen to her when she hosted breakfast radio in Sydney in the late 90s but she’s become a hugely valuable part of the MM family, writing a large number of editorial and sponsored posts. [oh my God this post has become long am I sounding like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar acceptance speech where she cried and everyone wanted her to shut up?] Jo is one of the most honest, prolific and effervescent writers I’ve ever met. She has three kids and more ideas in an hour than I have in a week. She too, is awesome.

And Nicky Champ, who has been working on iVillage, moves back to Mamamia where she’s writing up a storm on our daily fluff posts (which have quickly become a must-read for anyone who likes celebrity news but written in a smart, funny way) and all things style, fashion and body image.

Jamila Rizvi, Mamamia's new Editor.
Jamila Rizvi, Mamamia’s new Editor.

What else? Some promotions on Mamamia. Jamila, who came to me from politics and had never worked in the media (she has a law degree though so there’s that), has proven herself to be extraordinary at adapting to the crazy pace, intensity and demanding nature of working online (she worked in the PM’s office after uni so she’s not easily daunted).

She was hired as Managing Editor but I’ve just promoted her to Editor of Mamamia- a significant step for both of us. I never thought I’d find anyone I’d trust to run the site and the team and do media and basically be me. She’s me but better.

And the talented Lucy Ormonde steps up in the newly created role of Deputy Editor. If Jamila is my right hand, Lucy is hers. So many hands.

Rounding out the MM team is my angel Natalia who is now a writer as well as our editorial glue and fitness/health writer and Melissa Wellham who was also part of our intern program last year (she commuted each week to Sydney from her hometown of Canberra) and was employed part time as an integral part of the editorial team – her news stories are hugely popular. We’re also welcoming one more part time newbie, Rosie Waterland – whose lovely writing you will have already seen on the site and whose good humour it keeping us all entertained.

So now that we have two major women’s websites (that reach 1.3 million Australian women each month) and a radio show, I am thrilled to have such capable women – led by Alana and Jamila – running the day to day of Mamamia and iVillage. I’m still here, still across things, still sitting practically on their laps (did I mention there are 9 of us sitting in a fairly small room?) and still intimately involved and writing for both sites.

But running a business with my husband and having three kids….well, Superwoman can go get stuffed – my wheels fall off constantly. Like, con-stant-ly (you can read just how far they fall off right here).

I need help and I’ve made sure I’ve got it.

If anyone is still reading this, there’s one more thing to tell you!!!

WE ARE LAUNCHING FORUMS TODAY!

One of the best things about Mamamia – one of the reasons I first created it in my loungeroom 7 years ago –  has always been the community atmosphere. Watching complete strangers give each other advice and share their opinions about everything from pregnancy to politics, is one of the real joys of running this site.

Today we take the conversation to a new level. There will be no more ‘Tony Jones: I’ll take that as a comment’. Why? Because we’re giving you full and free permission to go off topic. In fact, we’re letting you start your own.

To enhance and add to the conversation that happens on our posts, we’re adding forums to Mamamia starting today. You can get started right away: here. Forums will allow you to really tap into the expertise and advice of our great community of readers, to continue the debates that are kicked off on the main site or to bring up subjects we haven’t covered on the site but that you want to talk about.

For example:

 

We're currently discussing the advice you would give to your 16 year old self.
We’re currently discussing the advice you would give to your 16 year old self.

 

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT US. What’s going on in YOUR world?

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